Manx Tidal Energy granted seven year licence to develop tidal energy project offshore Isle of Man

A renewable energy firm has been granted a licence to explore the potential for harvesting tidal energy off the north coast of the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency located in the Irish Sea. Manx Tidal Energy will assess if generating electricity near the Point of Ayre is commercially viable. The island-based company has seven years to carry out its survey work.

Last year, a government spokesman said the scheme could generate an income of about £5m a year and create in the region of 60 operational jobs. All infrastructure costs involved in building and installing the tidal array would be borne by the developer and any power generated will be used in the UK and not the Isle of Man.

It is thought the turbines would be visible from the Manx coast. The Isle of Man owns its territorial sea out to the 12-nautical mile limit and has responsibility for marine planning and zoning over approx. 4,000 sq km of the Irish Sea. The initial survey work will determine how viable plans would be to build a tidal array – a process which involves submerging tidal energy generators into the sea.

Although the Point of Ayre will be the first area considered, three more licences could be granted for sites in the south of the island.