Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Wind farm development near island at 'early stage'

Wind turbine
Image caption A government committee is currently looking into a wind farm for the Isle of man.

Plans for an offshore wind farm about 12 miles off the Manx coast are at an "early stage" according to developers.

Centrica Plc was awarded wind farm development rights for the Irish Sea zone in January 2010.

The site lies outside Manx waters, about nine miles from Anglesey, and covers more than 1,000 square miles.

Corporate affairs manager for Centrica, Rhys Jones, said: "The development could power around three million homes."

He added: "We are yet to submit a planning application to the Environment Agency but if we chose to develop the site in its entirety it could involve something like 800 to 1,000 turbines".

Job opportunities

Centrica has been studying the ecology of the sea bed in the area.

It is not yet clear how much the farm development would cost but figures could to run into billions of pounds.

Senior manager for energy policy with the Isle of Man government, Ken Milne, said he hoped the development could be a positive thing for the island.

He said: "There could be some job opportunities for people in the Isle of Man and because the island is one of the closest land masses to the development, Centrica may decide to base a maintenance centre here".

Centrica has built and is maintaining eight other wind farm developments around the British Isles.

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