Tight timescale for Manx green energy projects, MU chairman says

Plans to generate 30MW of renewable energy on the Isle of Man by 2026 are under a tight “time pressures”, the chairman of Manx Utilities has said.

Tim Johnston MHK said he was confident they could meet the target backed by the Council of Ministers this week.

Within the next three years MU aims to create 10MW from solar energy and 20MW from wind.

He said solar panels could be installed “relatively quickly”, but wind turbines would take “two and a half years”.

Generating wind energy would take much longer as the turbines would be subject to environmental assessments and planning requirements, he added.

Government-owned electricity provider Manx Utilities had to make sure it did not “waste time” and progressed the projects as quickly as possible, Mr Johnston said.

“It is doable, but it’s a tight timescale,” he added.

Tim Johnstone

Tim Johnston said he was confident the infrastructure would be in place by 2026

Under the plans, solar panels would be placed on government-owned buildings and car parks in Douglas, whereas sites for potential wind farms would be considered on public land island-wide.

The decision to use the chosen renewable technologies was to reduce the reliance on a “volatile fossil fuel market” and the “unpredictability of prices”, Mr Johnston said, adding that introducing “reliable renewables” into the Manx system would help to bring down consumer costs.

Solar and wind energy project were “no regret” systems that had been “tried and tested in the commercial world”, he said.

No funding has has yet been confirmed confirmed for the multimillion-pound project.

Mr Johnston said it offered a “really good opportunity to engage with private enterprise”.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from a lot of companies who are very keen on being part of our renewable future,” he added.

“It’s a big challenge but I think we’re confident that we’re getting everything in place now.”

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