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Proposed Tidal Turbine "test" area off St Catherine's. (Still on hold April 2020)

In late 2012, Alan learnt of a proposal to install a test site for under water tidal turbines in the west end of an area south of the IW known as St Catherines deeps. See chart. This was being proposed as a means for the IW Council to receive revenue for the testing of various manufacturers’ designs. It was promoted on the grounds that everything would be well below the surface and the turbines would get removed after their period under test.
Alan initially engaged with the project team to highlight the lack of RSA references in their proposal documents. He subsequently arranged for an informal meeting in 2013 between the team, himself, Tony Williams and Bob Gawn (representing the West Wight Charter Skippers Association). This productive meeting resulted in a greater understanding all round of issues involved. It was highlighted that a particular concern for RSAs is the possible routing of the cables bringing the power ashore, the options for which include transiting the Plaice grounds off Ventnor. In April 2014 Alan received a further visit from representatives of a company that had been engaged to generate a mandatory impact assessment of this plan. Alan provided them with estimates of the level of angling effort occurring in the area as well as reiterating the concern relating to the route of the cables across the Plaice grounds especially as the plan now seems to be to go with option 1 route. He was assured that the cable would be relatively small and its installation should have minimal impact. It remains to be seen what effect the considerable strong protests by commercial fishermen will have on the outcome of this proposal.

Update as of 30-8-2015: Alan had been given the impression all along that the offshore installation would not involve anything on the sea surface but information surfaced in August 2015 that this is not the case & part of the MMO licence application involves the possibility of surface floating structures. In consequence of this new information, Alan has submitted a further input to the MMO requesting that, if the project goes ahead, that there is a requirement to set up a communication network with anglers in order to inform them of any navigation hazards resulting from the project. He clearly stated that just relying on the standard statutory minimum level of communications by way of notices to mariners was not going to be acceptable. It remains to be seen what, if anything, transpires as a result of this request.

Update as of late 2016, Alan learnt that this was no longer to be just a test bed site but had changed to being a larger full scale generation site. Even more significant, some significant protrusion above the sea surface was proposed. No consultation had taken place about this change which would result in a hazard to shipping.

Update as of late 2018: Fortunately the entire scheme has been put on hold till some future date.

Update as of April 2020: 

8-4-20: Reported in local press:

A request for an urgent delegated decision was put forward by the IW Council’s Regeneration team seeking the funding in the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC). The urgency was due to a limited time offer of grant funding — but ‘financial uncertainties’ caused by the coronavirus have delayed the decision.

A loan of £244,000 needed to be in place by the end of March 2020 to secure £366,000 worth of funding from the European Union Tiger Project to keep the PTEC running — which has been in ‘hibernation’ since 2017 due to changes in government policy.

In that time, problems with leases, licences and planning applications lapsing, or about to, meant funding was desperately needed to keep the project going or there was a ‘major risk’ it would be forced back to square one or not go ahead at all — with the council losing its £1 million investment.

Funding in PTEC would have allowed the necessary leases and marine licences to be renewed within the next 12 months and enable further phases of work to begin.

While the decision has been postponed, the council has said it will continue to work with PTEC, the Tiger Project and other stakeholders to help inform any future decision.

SC Turbines Chart Opt 1
Tidal Turbine test area

Navitus Bay proposed wind turbine park. As of September 2015 the application has been refused.
Alan Deeming engaged with the project team to initially highlight that RSA had not been considered in the original proposal documents. Considerable well publicised consultation occured since the original plan was announced. The hope was that, if it went ahead, then angling would be permitted within the park, which could provide a good haven for fish, free from commercial activity. Alan was informed that the well publicised alternative plan for a smaller area would still remain within the boundary of the original larger area.

The concern now is if a further application is submitted that moves the location further offshore into a significant angling area. 

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