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Energy firm starts new survey of Isle of Man offshore wind farm site

A data-gathering buoy has been deployed in the Irish Sea as part of a project to build the Isle of Man’s first offshore wind farm.

Energy firm Orsted said the device would survey the suitability of the project in an area of seabed off the island’s east coast.

The Danish firm was granted a lease with the to explore the potential for a wind farm there in 2015.

Orsted’s John Galloway said the data would help the firm design the project.

The firm has already conducted environmental and technical studies since it signed the agreement with the Department of Infrastructure.

Orsted, which was previously known as DONG Energy, was given permission to explore whether it was practical and commercially viable to place a wind farm in the area of sea six to 12 nautical miles (11.1km to 22.2km) off Maughold.

Data on waves and subsea temperatures is now set to be gathered by the buoy, which has been fitted with specialist equipment.

Orsted said the device would also allow for “the growing impact on the marine environment from climate change” to be monitored.

The energy company, which set up an Isle of Man office for the first time in March, has 12 offshore wind farms in operation across the UK.

Six of those have been installed in the Irish Sea between the Isle of Man and the British coast, and Orsted's newest farm, Hornsea 2, is the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

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