Guide to the Licensing and Consents Process for obtaining a Licence in relation to land based renewable energy systems under the Renewable Energy (Alderney) Law, 2007
The Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy was established by the States of Alderney under the Renewable Energy (Alderney) Law, 2007 to provide an independent body to licence and control the deployment, management, operation and use of renewable energy systems in the island of Alderney and its Territorial Waters. The Commission is the licensing and civil enforcing authority for any renewable energy activities in the Island and its Territorial Waters.
The Commission wishes to take a positive role in the development of Alderney’s renewable energy resources, particularly those from tidal, whilst ensuring that such developments are sustainable and of long term benefit to the Island and its people. To this end the Commission has developed a clear and simple consents process that is consistent with best practice in the UK. This consents process reflects the requirements under the Renewable Energy (Alderney) Law, 2007 (the ‘Law’) and the Renewable Energy (Alderney) Ordinance, 2008 as amended (the ‘Ordinance’). The Commission will update its consents procedures, in line with developing best practice, on a regular basis and to reflect any future amendments to future legislation.
This document is a guide to the consents process for obtaining a licence in relation to wholly land based renewable energy systems. Of necessity it can only be a general guide, since the circumstances of each application will differ. The starting point for any applicant for a Licence are Sections 4-17 of the Ordinance and the Renewable Energy (Alderney) (Fees) Regulations, 2010. The Commission is also available for informal consultation and guidance if required, although in relation to decisions before it, the Commission must keep an open mind until it has considered all relevant information.
Stage 1 – Application for Licence
The applicant must submit an application for a Licence in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the Ordinance. Under Section 11(2) (a) of the Ordinance the Commission may also where it considers it appropriate to do so issue a Licence subject to a condition to obtain the further consent of the Commission in relation to a particular renewable energy activity. This Guide should also therefore be used in respect of the satisfaction of a Licence condition and the applicant will be required to submit any further request for consent and supporting information within the timeframe specified in his Licence. The application to the Commission must contain those matters specifically set out in Section 4 of the Ordinance and should also include:
- Non-technical overview.
- Full details of the developer and any associates and/or partners including its Company or Limited Partnership number, registered office, a list of current directors and an address for service within Alderney.
- Full details of the work to be carried out, including contractors and equipment to be used and timelines.
- Full details of all equipment and materials to be deployed.
- The developer’s Health and Safety (H&S) Policy and any other relevant certification including quality e.g. accreditation to ISO standards. Please note that the Commission must have particular regard to ensure that the operation of the renewable energy system is not a danger to human life, and must have regard to the need to protect human health. Accordingly applications should include health and safety statements, working methodology, and identify who will be the responsible person for health and safety requirements and how the applicant intends to comply with the Health and Safety at Work (Alderney) Ordinance, 2003, both in relation to land based and marine based activities.
- The developer’s H&S programme for planning, designing, installing, operating and decommissioning the project ; which also needs submitting to an Inspector appointed under the Health and Safety at Work (Alderney) Ordinance, 2003 for their consideration. Inspectors are currently appointed from the Guernsey Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Full operations and maintenance plan.
- Full decommissioning programme; which may be required for larger land based systems; see section 4 and schedule 2 to the Renewable Energy Ordinance Alderney 2008. In addition applicants should consider and include within this programme options for decommissioning deployed technology at the end of its current life or the Licence period. Please refer to the Commission's 'Guideline for Decommissioning of Renewable Energy Systems' to be found at www.acre.gov.gg/library.php.
- Details of engineering and process certification (see stage 2).
- An Environmental Statement which may be required for larger land based systems. The statement should satisfy Section 4 and schedule 1 to The Renewable Energy Ordinance (Alderney) 2008, and include an assessment of the potential impacts to the marine, air, land environment and to ecosystems and appropriate mitigation measures.
- Information to provide sufficient evidence of the developer’s operational and financial ability to complete the project.
- Information to provide sufficient evidence of the developer’s operational and financial ability to decommission the project; together with details of the appropriate financial instrument offered in support of the decommissioning programme.
- Proof of insurance satisfying the requirements of Section 9(5)(c) of the Ordinance. The Commission will require that both the Commission and the States of Alderney are named as co-insured.
- The appropriate application fee under the Renewable Energy (Alderney) (Fees) Regulations, 2010. Applications in relation to wholly land-based renewable energy systems with a maximum rated output of less than 10 kilowatts are exempt from the fee.
Schedule 1 of the Ordinance contains the detailed requirements for the Environmental Statement which may be required for larger land based systems and must be complied with. The level of environmental assessment required will be proportionate to the size and location of the particular development envisaged in the application.
The Commission will normally require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Environmental Statement (ES) should include a detailed description of the overall project including concept, design, development, deployment area, cable type and route, construction and installation, operation and maintenance, how the project will be decommissioned and the decommissioning cost.
The ES, if required, should include the main alternatives to the proposed development studied by the applicant and an indication of the main reasons for the choice of the development taking into account the environmental effects listed in Schedule 1 of the Ordinance. A description of the likely significant adverse effects of these listed items, together with the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce, and where possible, offset any significant adverse effects on the environment should be part of the ES.
Important content will cover the anticipated significant impacts of the proposed development on some or all of the following as appropriate, assessed on a suitable scale (see Appendix 1), together with appropriate mitigation measures, using the approach specified in Appendix 2.
- Water (surface water hydrology) – water abstraction, damming, site drainage
- Water (water quality) – abstraction, materials management, earthworks
- Groundwater hydrology – earthworks and site drainage, presence of reservoir
- Groundwater quality – earthworks, materials management
- Landscape and visual impact
- Soils – use of vehicles and machinery, water flow
- Air – local air quality
- Aquatic ecology
- Terrestrial ecology
- Coastal processes (including sediment transition);
- Geophysical assessment of the seabed;
- Cultural heritage and archaeology, including coastal)
- Protected sites and species (e.g. RAMSAR site)
- Noise and air quality
- Socio-economics and cumulative impacts
- Electricity generation;
- Transboundary environmental effects
- Cumulative impacts (relating to other and existing projects in the wider area).
A Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) has been completed for Alderney and its territorial waters. A link to the report is available via our website www.acre.gov.gg. It provides information on the environmental considerations and risks associated with the development of renewable energy plans. It is intended to be used to support individual licence applications and the preparation of Environmental Statements that are required for each proposed development, as described above.
Other important content will cover the anticipated significant impacts of the proposed development on some or all of the following as appropriate, assessed on a suitable scale (see appendix 1), together with appropriate mitigation measures, using the approach specified in Appendix 2.
- Cables and pipelines
- Disposal areas (e.g. munitions)
- Road traffic and access
- Tourism, recreation and education
Please note, any non-resident contractors working on Renewable Energy projects on island or in Alderney territorial waters will require an Employment Permit from the States of Alderney. This follows the Employment Permits (Alderney) Law, 1975, where all citizens of the EU (including Guernsey, Sark and Jersey residents), are required to apply for and be granted an Employment Permit before commencing employment on Alderney, unless they are exempted under the aforementioned Law. Please enquire at the office of the Chief Executive for further employment details at States of Alderney, Office of the Chief Executive, PO Box 1001, Alderney, GY9 3AA. In light of this, the Commission recommends that developers include any suitable local resident contractors on their tender list when they are assessing their project requirements.
Alderney Regional Environmental Assessment of Renewable Energy, Environment Report, March 2014. www.acre.gov.gg
Stage 2 – Engineering, Technical Assessment and Certification
The Commission will want to understand and approve the technology to be used and the means to deploy that technology being subject to a duty under the Ordinance to have regard to the technical quality of the renewable energy system. To this end the developer will be expected to seek certification from a suitable organisation. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) has been accepted by the Commission as a suitable Certification Body (assuming there is no conflict of interest) but other bodies may be acceptable if they can meet the Commission’s criteria. Both a Type and Project Certificate from the Certification Body (together with any conditions) will be required by the Commission as part of the application process.
In exceptional circumstances (to be agreed with the Commission) a prototype certificate may be acceptable for a limited period. However the case for this would need to be made based on the state of development of the selected device and the Commission would need to be kept informed either by the developer or the Certification body of the steps in the process of obtaining a prototype certificate and any restrictions to be implemented as part of this certification.
During the operation of the licence the developer will also be expected to maintain the certification though regular surveys of the operating system to meet the Certification Body’s requirements. Withdrawal of the Certificate by the Certification Body and the reasons for withdrawal, together with the proposed corrective actions should to be reported to the Commission within a period of not greater than 5 working days.
Stage 3 – Publicity, Consultation
This is the formal publicity and consultation process for the Application. Applicants are referred to Sections 5, 7 and 8 of the Ordinance and the importance of the publicity and consultation Process. The list of those to be consulted is set out below. The developer will be required to place a notice publicising the application and inviting comments and feedback from all stakeholders and the general public, giving a notice period of twenty one days for comments to be made. The application, and any accompanying Environmental Statement and Decommissioning Programme as required, must also be made available for public inspection at the Commission's offices.
The process is as follows:
- The developer places a notice in the Alderney Gazette of the making of the application, the proposed operation, the opportunity to inspect the application. The notice must state the date (twenty one days after the date of the notice) by which representations in respect of the project must be received, and the address to which they must be sent. The developer is also required to publish the notice in such other ways as the Commission considers will bring the attention of those likely to be affected.
- The representations will be considered by the Commission and objectors given the opportunity to make oral representations at a hearing before the Commission in accordance with the procedure in section 8 of the Ordinance. The hearing will be held in public unless the Commission directs otherwise.
- The Commission must consider all representations made in response to the above publicity, including those made at any hearing, and any other material considerations it is required to consider under the Alderney renewable energy legislation in reaching its eventual decision on an application.
- The final decision on a particular relevant consideration will rest with the Commission. In doing so it will act in accordance with the Ordinance, in particular sections 6 to 8.
The Commission has defined the following stakeholders as Consultees with whom the developer should engage throughout the consents process, including submission of the completed Environmental Statement where required for comment: This includes both statutory (assigned by asterix) and other key stakeholder Consultees, following The Renewable Energy (Alderney) Ordinance, 2008 (Section 7.1.a.i – 7.1.b), which was amended by The Renewable Energy (Alderney) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013:
- Alderney Electricity Ltd*;
- Alderney Fisheries Officer*;
- Alderney Harbour Officer*;
- Alderney Renewable Energy Ltd;
- Alderney Wildlife Trust*;
- Guernsey Health and Social Services Department (HSSD);
- Inspectors appointed under the Health and Safety at Work (Alderney) Ordinance 2003;
- States of Alderney CEO and;
- The Alderney Society.
In addition it will be necessary to make an application to the States of Alderney Building and Development Control for any building work for which a licence is required under the Building (Alderney) Regulations, 1978.
Other stakeholders may be added to the above list where appropriate. The Commission will advise and assist the developer to ensure that all requirements are satisfied.
The Commission is statutorily required to consult Alderney Electricity Limited and may decide to consult other bodies as set out in section 7 of The Renewable Energy (Alderney) Ordinance, 2008. The applicant must be given the opportunity to respond to comments made by all such Consultees. Where any such consultees make objections they will also have the opportunity to make oral representations at a hearing under section 8 of the Ordinance.
Stage 4 – Determination of Application
The Commission will consider all the information and documentation submitted by the developer, any statutory consultees and other representations made in response to the publicity described above. Engineering, technical or environmental reports sent to the Commission may be submitted for independent review depending on the scale and environmental sensitivity of the proposed development. However, the Commission will ensure that any independent reviews required will respect any commercially confidential information submitted by the developer.
The Commission will satisfy itself that all representations from stakeholders, including the public have been considered (see section 9(3) and (4) of the Ordinance); that information has been provided on how any adverse impacts have been minimised; and that the appropriate mitigation measures have been identified. The final weighing of relevant considerations including objections and other representations will rest with the Commission. The Commission will need to be satisfied as to those matters set out in Section 9(5) of the Ordinance before granting the Licence or approval to the conditions.
The Commission will also consider the details required (as noted above) and take into account the response from health and safety inspectors appointed under the Health and Safety at Work (Alderney) Ordinance, 2003 on the health and safety aspects of the proposed development.
All relevant consents required under any statute including the Law and Ordinance should be obtained before a Licence is granted or a Condition is approved.
The terms and conditions of the consent may, in accordance with sections 9 and 11 of the Ordinance:
- Where an EIA is required developers are to provide monitoring information linked to the ES.
- Require ongoing stakeholder engagement throughout the life of the project.
- Include review clauses.
- Require that data acquired during survey and operations are shared with the Commission, with appropriate safeguards for commercially sensitive data.
Appendix 1 - Criteria to be used to assess environmental impact*
|EcologicalEffects||Socio-economic effects||Stakeholder concerns||Consequence for developers|
|Degradation to the quality or availability of habitats and/or wildlife with recovery within an ecologically important period.||Change to commercial activity leading to a loss of income or opportunity beyond normal business variability/risk Potential short term effect upon public health / well-being. Real risk of injury.||Significant concern from other stakeholders (e.g. other local/regional/international concerns). Breach of local/regional/international legislation for protected species and habitats. Potential for wide-scale active campaigning locally or wider.||Introduce mitigation measures so as to reduce the impact to a level that can be accommodated and/or avoid a breach of legislation. Likely to be a requirement to closely monitor areas of residual impact.|
|Change in habitats or species beyond natural variability with recovery potentially within a period of low ecological importance.||Change to commercial activity leading to loss of income or opportunity within normal business variability/risk. Possible but unlikely effect upon public health/well-being. Remote risk of injury.||Concern from other stakeholders (e.g. local/regional concerns). Breach of local legislation for protected species and habitats. ||Introduce mitigation measures so as to reduce the impact to a level that can be accommodated and/or avoid a breach of legislation. Likely to be a requirement to monitor areas of residual impact.|
|Change in habitats or species which could be measured but of a scale unimportant relative to natural variability.||Possible nuisance to other activities and some minor influence on income or opportunity. Nuisance but no lasting effect upon public health/well-being.||Specific concerns within a limited group. Small scale breach of local legislation (e.g. minor environmental concern: a specific species or habitat). ||Be aware of potential impacts, manage operations to minimise impacts and interactions.|
|NEGLIGIBLE||Change in habitats or species so small as to be difficult to measure relative to natural variability.||Noticed by, but not a nuisance to other commercial activities. No discernible effects upon the health and well-being of the public.||Stakeholder awareness but no concerns. ||No positive intervention needed but ensure they do not escalate in importance.|
|NO INTERACTION||None||None||None||Ensure changes to activities do not lead to new impacts|
|POSITIVE||An enhancement of ecosystem or popular parameter||Benefits to local community ||Benefit to stakeholder issues and interests ||Actively work to maximise specific benefits whilst minimising any indirect adverse affects.|
*Based on ”Environmental Impact Assessment – Guidance for Developers at the European Marine Energy Centre”, 2013.
Appendix 2 - Impact Evaluation
- Developers should identify which activities have the potential to cause impacts (column 1 in table below).
- The basis for these impacts, including the mechanism involved and the environmental component affected should be described in column 2 of the table.
- The significance of the impact based on the criteria in appendix 1, assuming a worst case impact i.e. with no mitigation or management measures in place, should be entered into column 3 of the table. Where there are uncertainties in the significance of the impact these should be noted.
- Developers should identify management and mitigation measures that will be employed against each issue and list these in column 4 of the table.
- The measures listed will allow assessment of the residual impacts that are anticipated to arise following implementation of the mitigation and management measures. Residual impacts should be rated using the criteria in Appendix 1 and entered into column 5 of the table.
- Any residual impacts, ranked as moderate or major should be discussed in more detail in the main text of the ES document.
- For any potentially significant impacts there will be a requirement to develop and implement appropriate monitoring programmes.
|1 Identified activity||2 Prediction of potential impact||3 Potential impact significance||4 Proposed management and mitigation measures||5 Residual impact significance|
|Activity 2 etc|| |