Update from the developer of the proposed offshore South Coast windfarm scheme, Navitus Bay

Navitus Bay Development
Ltd has today officially entered into ‘memoranda of understanding’ (MOU)
with three South Coast ports – Poole, Yarmouth and Portland.

These formal agreements
commit the developer to undertaking studies with the ports that will explore
how their facilities could be best used in both the construction and operation and maintenance (O&M) phases of the wind farm.

Navitus Bay first shortlisted the three local ports
to host the wind farm’s O&M functions in summer 2013. This latest development
formalises the developer’s commitment to using local facilities.

Today’s announcement sees
Navitus Bay invest £100,000 into feasibility studies. They will assess factors
critical to the construction and maintenance of the wind park, such as space
available, depth of water and storage facilities and how these can be altered
or improved to accommodate Navitus Bay’s requirements.

As part of the agreement,
the ports will also keep suitable areas of the sites available for Navitus Bay
to use from 2017 onwards.

granted planning permission, the Navitus Bay windfarm would see up to 194, 200m-tall wind turbines situated in popular sailing waters
off Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

According to figures from Navitus Bay consultants BVG
Associates, peak construction years could support a minimum of 1,700
while the O&M base is expected to support around 140 jobs annually, for
example skilled technicians to maintain the turbines.

The O&M base is expected to provide an economic value to the region of £590million over the 25 year lifespan of the project. 

Mike Unsworth, Project
Director at Navitus Bay, said: ‘Our ultimate aim is to
enter into a contract with one, or a combination, of these three ports that
says they will accommodate construction and installation activities and host
the O&M base.

‘The wind park will have a
significant impact on the local economy by creating skilled jobs and
opportunities for local businesses to get involved, and Navitus Bay remains
committed to making sure these positive benefits are realised.

‘If any other local
businesses would like to find out about the opportunities the proposed wind
park could provide, I would urge them to contact us via our website.’

What the ports say

Ian McQuade, General Manager of Portland Harbour Authority, said: ‘The signing of the
MOU is an important step along the road to realising one of the biggest
economic opportunities Portland and Dorset is likely to see for many years.

‘Portland Port hopes that this is just the first of a number of agreements that
will culminate in commercial activities taking place at the port in support of
the Navitus Bay wind park.’

Jim Stewart, Chief
Executive, Poole Harbour Commissioners,
said: ‘The Port of Poole is very
pleased to participate in the signing of this MOU with Navitus Bay Development
Ltd, which we hope will be the precursor to a firm contract for this important

‘This MOU forms part of our strategy for greater diversification in
port activities going forward.’


Last month Navitus Bay Development Ltd announced that it was scaling
back the proposed wind farm in order to reduce its visual impact – the second time the scheme’s size had been reduced.

But campaigners against Navitus Bay say the ‘changes to the plan appear to be marginal’ and the impacts on the the Jurassic coast World Heritage Site are ‘still significant’.

Dr Andrew Langley of Challenge Navitus said: ‘The
threats to the environment, tourism, birds and navigation remain almost
unchanged, and the onshore disruption will be the same.’

Picture: (From left to right) Stuart Grant, Senior Project Manager, Navitus Bay, Jim Stewart, Chief Executive, Poole Harbour Commissioners.

Portland Harbour