ISLAND PLAN: Publicly-owned renewable projects progressing on target to deliver 30MW of renewables for the Isle of Man by 2026

Earystane & Scards

Manx Utilities has today announced it is on schedule to deliver a 20 Megawatt windfarm and 10 Megawatts of solar power in 2026, as set out within Isle of Man Government’s Island Plan.

Studies commissioned by Manx Utilities have identified that the appropriate level of renewable electricity generation, which can maintain secure supplies, is presently up to 40 Megawatts. 

Public ownership of the new renewables using publicly owned estate should also enable the quickest delivery and lowest end-user cost, ensuring all customers benefit equally from renewable generation. Alongside an anticipated 10 Megawatts of private domestic and commercial installations, Manx Utilities’ renewable projects will take installed renewable capacity on-Island to the 40 Megawatts target.

Two sites have been identified as potentially suitable to deliver a 20 Megawatt windfarm: Sulby & Druidale in the north and Earystane & Scards in the south of the Island.  These sites closely match the criteria to access the best quality wind resource, acceptable delivery timescale, and lowest cost to consumers.  An onshore windfarm of this scale could deliver up to 30% of the Island’s electricity needs, subject to final designs.

Sulby & Druidale

A decision on which site to take forward will be made following completion of the further environmental and technical appraisals by the end of this summer.  The next phase of work will involve a full Environmental Impact Assessment for the preferred site to ensure issues identified are suitably addressed, completion of a design package and a tender exercise for the manufacturing of wind turbines.  All of this would of course be followed by a full planning application process which would need to be complete before on-site works can commence. 

Working with the Department of Infrastructure, Manx Utilities has identified over 30 sites suitable to deliver a total of 30 Megawatts of solar power on the public estate.  The first phase of solar installations will see five projects being progressed with more sites to be identified to reach the 10 Megawatt objective.  Sites identified in phase one are the NSC (two projects), Noble’s Hospital (two projects) and the Sea Terminal (one project) and will utilise roof space and car parks, thereby minimising ecological impact.  It is intended that solar installations will be delivered by local business specialists.

Alongside the solar and wind projects, Manx Utilities is working on a variety of other key projects which support the wider Isle of Man Government target of 100% decarbonised electricity by 2030.  These include a second subsea interconnector, consideration of clean controllable generators which will provide an additional level of resilience and security of supply, along with a potential connection to an offshore windfarm.

Finally, an updated green tariff has been developed for commercial customers which will provide businesses with access to certification to demonstrate the purchase of renewable electricity to meet their Environmental, Social and Governance objectives.  Customers are also able to provide renewable generation for their own use through Manx Utilities’ sustainable generation tariff.

The delivery of these major projects will meet Manx Utilities’ formal objectives within the Island Plan. The 30MW onshore renewable projects alongside a second interconnector and planned carbon neutral on-demand generation projects will fully meet our target of decarbonised electricity by 2030.