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The search for a company to set up an onshore wind farm has been put on hold for 12 months.
But John Shimmin, chairman of the Council of Ministers’ energy, climate change and marine spatial planning subcommittee, said work was continuing to meet Tynwald’s target of 15 per cent of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2015.
Speaking in Tynwald on Tuesday, the Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister said: ‘Whilst the subcommittee has not put in abeyance its work on investigating the suitability of an onshore wind farm, it has directed that the tendering exercise is put on hold for 12 months.’
He said tenders were to be sought from a shortlisted group of companies selected from those who submitted expressions of interest to build, own and operate an onshore 20 MW wind farm, selling the electricity produced to the MEA at an agreed economically viable rate.
He said the delay would give the subcommittee time to look at the economics of any proposed wind farm and other potential renewable sources of electricity.
In addition, he said it would give the subcommittee time to consider the outcome of the UK’s consultation on renewable obligation certificates and to assess if this would change the economics of renewable electricity generation and its potential for export from the island.
In 12 months’ time, he said, the subcommittee would be in a position to develop proposals for an renewable energy policy.
The 15 per cent target was unanimously supported by Tynwald at the May 2010 sitting.
An onshore wind farm could account for 12 per cent of that.
A report commissioned by UK sustainability consultancy AEA recommended onshore wind be pursued as a ‘priority option’. It said onshore wind could deliver large amounts of energy, save significant carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the need for gas imports.
Mr Shimmin said more work would have to be carried out, including monitoring the wind quality in numerous locations, before a site was chosen.
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