DCSIMG

Celtic Array launches second consultation on windfarm plan

Centricas Laura Jeffs at the first Rhiannon information day in Port St Mary

Centricas Laura Jeffs at the first Rhiannon information day in Port St Mary

  • by Adrian Darbyshire
 

Celtic Array has launched the second round of consultation for its proposed Rhiannon offshore wind farm which would be 34km south east of the Isle of Man.

Rhiannon is the first wind farm to be proposed within the Irish Sea Zone and with an estimated capacity of up to 2.2GW it would be capable of producing enough energy to serve the needs of around 1.5 million homes.

Members of the public are being invited to come and find out more about Celtic Array’s proposals for the wind farm at one of three public information days in the island - at the Manx Museum in Douglas on Saturday April 12 between 11am and 4pm, Ramsey Town Hall on Monday April 14, from 2-7pm and Mount Tabor Methodist Church Hall in Port St Mary on Tuesday April 15, from 2-7pm.

If built, Rhiannon would comprise up to 440 turbines. There could also be up to eight offshore substations and four accommodation platforms. The consultation runs until May 19.

Celtic Array, a joint venture between Centrica and Dong Energy, has also confirmed that development of the North East potential development area remains on hold. Proposals for the NE zone were put on hold last year after concerns were raised about possible disruption to shipping lanes.

Celtic Array manager David Crowther said: ‘We’re committed to being a responsible developer and recognise there continue to be concerns around the potential impact of a wind farm on existing shipping routes between the Isle of Man and the UK.

‘We have therefore decided to delay progress on consenting activities for the north east area and will instead be focusing on continuing our discussions with key stakeholders to ensure proposals include mitigations where required to minimise any impact to the island.’

The Steam Packet, TravelWatch and the Chamber of Commerce outlined their concerns at last week’s UK Planning Inspectorate hearing at the Villa Marina about Dong Energy’s proposals to extend its Walney wind farm off the Cumbrian coast.

Steam Packet commercial director John Watt said: ‘We do not object to appropriately located wind farms [but] the cumulative impact of Walney extension and the NE PDA and lack of viable adverse weather routing options has not yet been adequately addressed.

‘These routes are essential for safe navigation in adverse weather, and cancellations arising from a lack of suitable weather routing options will therefore have a serious negative socio-economic impact for us and indeed the whole of the Isle of Man.’

 

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