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Wind farm proposal moves step closer

Government plans for a 20 megawatt wind farm are progressing.

The Department of Economic Development is seeking expressions of interest from developers interested in tendering for the design, finance, build and operation of the project.

In May, Tynwald members voted unanimously in favour of a target of generating 15 per cent of the Island’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Environment Minister John Shimmin MHK told members an onshore wind farm could provide 12 per cent of that target, but admitted a private developer would be needed to fund the project.

Senior manager for energy policy Dr Ken Milne said: ‘The Isle of Man has a need for renewable energy to address the economic security of supply implications of being a net energy importer in a market with shrinking resources and the threat of climate change while ensuring continued affordable energy is available.’

He said it was the company’s responsibility to identify a suitable site and get planning permission.

Dr Milne said: ‘A suitable site would need to consider planning issues – including government policy, minimise visual impact and rationale for selection of the site – and technical issues – including wind yield data, accessibility of wind turbines to the site and suitability of site for grid connection.

‘I would encourage all interested parties to discuss with me their proposals to ensure suitable selection of sites which have considered likely planning and technical issues.’

Last year, a report commissioned by the government’s Energy Policy Working Group said the Island was ideally suited to onshore wind farms as it has, on average, the highest wind speed throughout the year compared with the UK, Denmark and Germany.

The Round Table was suggested as a possible site but other sites have previously been looked at by the Manx Electricity Authority.
They include Snuff the Wind outside Foxdale, Ballacooiley near Ballaugh, Meary Veg at Santon and Windy Corner on the Mountain Road.
The closing date for expressions of interest to be received by the department is noon on October 4.

For more details go to www.gov.im/lib/docs/ded/Energy/onshorewindfarmeoi.pdf

To register your interest write to Dr Ken Milne, Senior Manager for Energy Policy, Department of Economic Development, Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas, IM1 5EP or email ken.milne@gov.im