The Steam Packet’s Mark Woodward has described a presentation on the possible impact of more wind turbines in the Irish sea as misleading.
The display at the Villa Marina last week by the DONG energy??? group gave members of the public a chance to see the location of a proposed extension to the existing Walney wind farm between the Isle of Man an Cumbria.
Charts showing the 200-turbine extension demonstrated it did not impinge on either of the Steam Packet’s current usual routes between the Isle of Man and Liverpool or Heysham.
But Mr Woodward echoed the comments reported on the front of last week’s Courier by director of harbours Michael Brew who argued the development could have a significant impact on ferry sailings particularly during bad weather.
Mr Woodward said the information provided by DONG failed to take account either of existing windfarms or other proposed extensions and reiterated Captain Brew’s concerns over alternative routes in bad weather.
‘Last winter saw 110 days with Force six or above, but sailings are rarely cancelled as the master can take account of the prevailing winds and weather route accordingly to reduce passenger discomfort or cargo damage.
‘With a proliferation of wind farms, the master may not have the ability to weather route and therefore a sailing that would currently proceed will have to be cancelled – and cancellations are highly inconvenient and costly, for passengers and businesses.’
He added: ‘The Dong Walney public consultation was potentially somewhat misleading to the Manx public as there appeared to be no wall displays showing the adjacent Centrica/Dong additional proposed developments – no diagrams showing the existing Isle of Man routes, and no displays to illustrate or review what wind farm-induced weather cancellations will mean to Island passengers and businesses.’
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