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Developers step forward as windfarm plans take shape  

Credit:  www.iomtoday.co.im 30 October 2010 ~~

Twelve developers have come forward with proposals to design, build and operate a wind farm in the island.

The Department of Economic Development advertised in August for expressions of interest to tender for the design, finance, construction and operation of a 20 MW wind farm in the Isle of Man.

The closing date was October 4.

Economic Development Minister Allan Bell MHK said his department had received 12 responses to the advertisement.

The proposed wind farm project is aimed at meeting the government’s 15 per cent target for electricity to be generated by renewable sources from the year 2015.

One company Ocean Electric Power has so far gone public with its proposals to build an onshore wind farm on the coast between Jurby and Ballaugh.

The £25 – £30 million scheme could see between eight and 10 turbines being installed, producing 12 per cent of the island’s electricity.

Ocean Electric’s chief executive Chris Bale outlined the plans at a public meeting held at Ballaugh parish hall last month which was chaired by the constituency’s MHK David Cannan who has voiced his opposition to wind farms.

The meeting ended with an overwhelming vote in favour of alternative wave and tidal projects being considered.

Mr Bale told the meeting, 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.

In Tynwald last week, Mr Cannan asked whether Mr Bell’s department also intended to advertise for expressions of interest in tidal power.

The court was told that such expressions of interest would be sought for tidal current and wave technologies ‘if and when appropriate’.

Mr Bell said a Council of Ministers’ energy sub-committee was awaiting a report from consultants on the likely impact and opportunities for renewable power.

Another wind farm project, this one some 12 miles offshore, is being proposed by Centrica Renewable Energy between Anglesey and the Isle of Man.

The Irish Sea Zone is one of nine zones around the British Isles granted a licence by the UK Government as part of a £100 billion project designed to usher in a new era of green energy for Britain.

Boundaries of the development have yet to be unveiled by Centrica and the prolonged planning process means building probably won’t begin until 2016.

But the Steam Packet has warned ferries may be forced to divert on the Liverpool route if the proposed new wind farm gets built.

The UK national press reported at the weekend that the Royal Family could net £37.5 million from new offshore wind farms as the seabed within Britain’s ter­ritorial waters is owned by the Crown Estate.

Source:  www.iomtoday.co.im 30 October 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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