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Packed meeting hears about Ballaugh wind farm plan

About 200 people packed into Ballaugh parish hall to hear the boss of a renewable energy company give a presentation on its plans to build a windfarm on the Isle of Man’s north west coast.
Ocean Electric Power’s chief executive Chris Bale outlined a £30 million scheme which would see up to 10, 130-metre high wind turbines erected along the coastline between Jurby and Ballaugh.

He said the proposal would help the Manx Government meet its Tynwald commitment to have 15 per cent of energy generated from renewable sources by 2015.

His presentation was followed by a question and answer session during which Michael constituents gathered in the parish hall aired concerns over noise, vibration, and possible negative effects on house prices and health.

And at the conclusion of the meeting, which was chaired by Michael MHK David Cannan, there was an overwhelming vote in favour of alternative wave and tidal projects being considered.

Mr Bale said, however, that while the Island had a lot of potential for tidal power, the technology was not sufficiently advanced to make this a goal that could be achieved in the near term.

Mr Cannan has already voiced his opposition to a wind farm, which he says would ruin the magnificent vista of the stretch of coastline south from Jurby.

He will be raising questions in Tynwald next month over why the government has inviting expressions of interests in windpower but not in a tidal or wave power scheme.

The Michael MHK has also tabled a Tynwald motion calling for the court not to support windfarms as a way of meeting the 15 per cent energy target and instead adopt a policy of using tidal turbines or wave hub power.