View from Ballakilpheric Area (Below)
Picture taken from Ballakilpheric adjacent to Ballarhenney [distance to site boundary 900 m]
Manx Utilities’ Board have endorsed a recommendation to progress the Earystane & Scard site to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Design stage. Based on initial assessments undertaken by Wardell Armstrong this site appears to offer the best value to the electricity consumers of the Isle of Man with the lowest environmental impact when compared to the other option sites.
The Earystane & Scard location is one of the windiest locations in the Isle of Man and presents an excellent resource with anticipated wind speeds in excess of 10 metres per second. This would mean that five turbines could potentially deliver up to 130GWh per year; enough to meet one third of the Island’s annual demand.
The next phase of work involves a full Environmental Impact Assessment focussing on twelve key impact areas. These areas will cover Social (local stakeholders), Noise, Landscape & Visual, Ecology, Energy & Climate, Airport, Water & Flood, Transport, Air Quality, Geotechnical, Heritage & Archaeology, Planning and importantly provides for consultation with the local community.
The consultation process will enable Island residents the opportunity to find out more about the project, how impacts would be managed and how to actively participate in the design. The Environmental Impact Assessment is expected to be completed in 2025 prior to submission of a planning application.
In January 2023, the Council of Ministers supported Manx Utilities proposals to progress actions to deliver onshore renewable energy through a 20MW onshore windfarm, as well as 10MW solar deployed across rooftops and car parks on the public estate. These objectives are outlined in the Isle of Man Government Island Plan, Energy Strategy and support the requirements of the Climate Plan 2022-2027.
In March 2023, specialist consultants Wardell Armstrong were appointed to carry out an environmental and technical appraisal of three sites in Government ownership on the Isle of Man, to assess the feasibility of delivering a 20MW onshore windfarm by 2026 and to make a recommendation on which site should be taken forward to the next stage of assessments.
A SODAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging Device) has already been installed in Earystane Plantation where all turbines are expected to be located to monitor wind speed over the next 12 months. It is intended to move the device to Sulby & Druidale after the 12-month period to provide data for any possible future development after 2026. Bird and bat surveys have also commenced at Earystane & Scard and will last for a minimum of 18 months to ensure two seasons of data have been gathered.
Information on planned public engagement sessions for both the local community and Island residents will be publicised.
The Roadmap shows the necessary actions to deliver the onshore windfarm by the 2026 target set by Tynwald in the Climate Plan 2022–2027 as well as meeting the target within the Island Plan.
Protecting the Environment
The Isle of Man Strategic Plan 2016 states that we must carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for onshore wind and that we must also adhere to the Regulations outlined in the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (England and Wales). The EIA survey will now be carried out at the Earystane and Scard site over a 2-year period, alongside more detailed technical studies at the location.
Who is likely to own the windfarm?
The Cair Vie windfarm will be publicly owned and operated by Manx Utilities to protect customers by providing the lowest possible price for consumers. The design and build of a windfarm would likely be outsourced to a private developer for the pre-construction, site preparation and installation phases.
View from Castletown Area (Below):
Picture taken from Malew Road (A3) looking towards Slieau EairyStane [distance to site boundary 5.1 Km]
View from Port St Mary Area (Below):
Picture taken from Beach Road opposite Close Rheynn Wyllin [distance to site boundary 4.6 km]
View from South Barrule Area (Below):
Picture taken from Cronk Ny Arrey Laa looking towards Slieau EairyStane and the south [distance to site boundary 550 m]