On Feb. 8 Eclipse Energy UK plc (‘Eclipse’) announced that it has been granted consent to construct and operate a unique dual energy scheme, the Ormonde offshore wind farm and to generate and export electricity from the adjacent Ormonde Gas Fields development by the UK Government. This completes the series of principal permissions necessary to construct the world’s first co-development of offshore gas and wind energy, in the East Irish Sea offshore from Lancaster.
When constructed Ormonde is expected to have the ability to provide up to 200MW of electricity from its gas turbines fueled by two natural gas fields and dedicated offshore wind farm of 30 turbines. The Ormonde project will be able to supply the equivalent of three-quarters of Cumbria’s domestic load generating enough electricity to power over 155,000 homes, the equivalent of which 71,000 would be powered by renewable energy, it will also save up to 286,000 tons of CO2 per year. The project anticipates first energy in 2009.
|Ormonde Project Facts|
The Ormonde Project is a global first, integrating gas-fired power generation from end-of-life or ‘fallow’ gas fields utilized as a commercial catalyst in order to develop and generate renewable energy from an offshore wind power generation scheme.
Energy Minister Lord Truscott said:
"We are now starting to see a real flow of approvals for energy projects in UK waters. The London Array and Thanet schemes in the Thames Estuary went through in December and the good progress continues in 2007."
Commenting on the license award, Ian Hatton, Managing Director of Eclipse said,
"Eclipse is delighted to have gained consent for the world's 1st hybrid energy generation facility.
"We have combined both North Sea oil and gas experience and business models to provide a commercial catalyst to enable us to harness the energy from offshore natural gas fields and wind power, this is a global first.
"Over the next few years the UK's natural gas reserves will become depleted and we will become increasingly dependent upon imported energy. It is therefore vital that we explore the opportunities for producing energy from renewable sources and that we maximize recovery of the nation's indigenous energy.
"We believe that wind power can play a key role by producing electricity from a clean, free, abundant and inexhaustible resource. We expect Ormonde to be the first of a series of similar projects where offshore wind energy is developed using the hybrid concept. Our project is dominated by wind power but will also generate electricity from two small gas fields, Ormonde North and Ormonde South.
Eclipse Energy Company Limited is a new British independent energy company that recognizes sustainability as a key issue for the future of the UK's offshore energy industry in the 21st Century. The business was founded in February 1999 with the objective of developing, owning and operating low-carbon, sustainable upstream energy projects. The Company has developed an innovative concept for the hybrid production of electricity from offshore natural gas and wind resources. The Company’s first development is the Ormonde Project.
Offshore wind is getting a better start in the UK than in the US, although after years of haggling the Cape Wind project, off Cape Cod, MA in view of the Kennedy compound, now has a better chance of getting approved with a favorable Supreme Court ruling and the departure of Governor Romney. Eclipse's hybrid concept of combining wind and gas generation overcomes the intermittency of wind power, while utilizing gas from fallow gas fields that otherwise would be uneconomical to operate.