Argyll Array Project Update 25 – Febrary 2012

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Community Partnership Fund

The second meeting with Tiree Community Development Trust to discuss this initiative took place on the 14th of February and the third meeting on 21st February.
A joint report on the meetings will appear in the next issue of An Tirisdeach.

Engineering Foundation Programme

A reminder that any young person interested in applying for a place on this year’s programme should contact either myself or Ralph Thornton on 0141 614 0418. Staff at Tiree High School will also be able to give prospective candidates further information and support. Obviously, places are open to both female and male applicants.

Coastal Communities Fund

Further to the item in the last update, any group seeking funds from the Highlands and Islands part of the Fund can download a prospectus from www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regen eration/pdf/2085591.pdf.

Converter Station

Preliminary research has now been completed for SPR regarding the siting of the converter station at the wind-farm end of the grid export cable route to Dalmally. Most will recall that a short-list of possible export cable routes has already been drawn up, all of which involve either a route over Mull to Oban or a completely sub-sea route to Oban, with no cable coming on to either Coll or Tiree. At the moment, SPR is minded to apply for permission to site the converter station offshore within the wind farm and not onshore in Tiree. The current position is based on feedback received through last year’s Public Information Day (PID) on Tiree, and the Scenario Mapping consultations. However, SPR has agreed with Tiree Community Development Trust to provide more information on the onshore convertor station at this summer’s Public Information Day. There are some benefits in respect of jobs and infrastructure on Tiree which would occur irrespective of the strategy for the windfarm. The island’s views will be sought at the PID in the summer, and if there is strong feedback in favour then SPR would reconsider the possibility of an onshore location.

Questions Or Comments

If anyone has any questions or comments on any of the above, or indeed any aspect of the project, please contact me at – Donnie Campbell, ScottishPower Renewables Community Liaison Officer, Machair, Kilmoluaig in the first instance. My land line telephone number is 220 352, mobile 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

7 comments

  • Hi,

    One would assume a port upgrade and helicopters on the Reef will be the next gambit.

    Based on your minimalistic but concise report either, the people of Tiree or the economics have driven SPR offshore, a second try at a bite at the cherry will no doubt follow…in the summer.’

    PAYBACK TIME

    SPR Iberdrola: whether you end up on our shores or not, you have caused so much upset and worry for the folk of Tiree hows about you now put your hand in your pocket and provide a skateboard and play park for the Kids at Pier View. This should cost you around £50,000… thats about £65/person on Tiree, less than the increase in electricity bills…think of it as a community initiative a thank you for all the freetime and effort folks have given you…an actual positive you could achieve…we could also use a local contractor to do the design and build, that way maybe a third would be fed back into the community…what do you think ?

    Regards

    Karl

  • Donnie,

    I note that the JNCC states that the waters around Tiree…inshore waters. Should, upon their recommendation be given SPA status…Special Protection Area..
    It has been proven and will be expanded upon, that 42% of the UK’s Great Northen Diver Population over winters within our onshore waters…within depths of up to and around 50m. This is internationally significant.
    The GND is protected by EU law and WCA (wildlife conservation act 1981 schedule 1) against any form of ‘Harassment and hunting’… Note the Skerryvore reef area is one of their prefered locations…

    Do SPR have any comments on this matter….? please note the studies took several years and far exceed the scope of SPR’s proposed EIA.

    Karl

  • Lachie Brown Jnr

    Karl,

    This is very interesting and I would be interested to hear SPR’s thoughts on this. Without knowing too much about the SPA Status recommendation, I would have a fear that this would do more damage to the Tiree Fishing Fleet than the proposed Tiree Array?

    We only have to look north to Barra to see the potential impact upon fishing and offshore development that the discovery of a rare coral could have on the livelihood of an island with locals on Barra suggesting it could “see the area become like Canna, only home to tourists and park rangers”.

    Array or SPA status, I think I know which one I would prefer.

    Lachie

  • Lachie,

    Read up on SPA’s before you make such an incorrect ill informed assumption as ‘I would have a fear that this would do more damage to the Tiree Fishing Fleet than the proposed Tiree Array’…
    fishing and the Great Northern Diver have co existed since the first net was cast, or kreel dropped in Tiree’s inshore waters. Your comments and comparison with Barra are so ill informed as to be laughable…
    Ok we are all well aware that you are pro the Array…but your continual ignorance of the facts and your in ability to contribute to meaningfull discussion does nothing for your pro-stance.

    Get your facts right before you post…I could spend more time on your comments, but frankly I have more constructive things to do with my time.

  • Ok Lachie you win…some information for you…I am always willing to take on a cause, although in your case I feel I have little chance of changing the ‘leopards spot’s’

    Cold water corals can be subject to physical damage, they are a bottom dwelling species and imobile.

    Great Northen Divers are a bird and are surface dwelling.

    They are subject to spatial disturbance, repeated spatial disturbance (haressment involuntary or otherwise) causes stress and a displacement. Fishing, given it’s low environmental impact within the waters of Tiree due to the small number of boats, boat size and ratio with surface area has no measurable effect.

    There exists reams of data on the impact of large industry on avian species…windfarm being amongst this data. I leave you to read up on the GND, Natura 2000, SPA’s, SCA’s, SSSI’s etc before you next post.

    Karl

  • Lachie Brown Jnr

    Karl,

    For the record, and I have already told you this personally, I am not “Pro Array”, I just like to make a decision based on all the facts, which is a the complete opposite of yourself who decided to launch NTA some 18 months or so ago when there was little information available, and you have the audacity to suggest that I am ill informed and I am ignorant of the facts!.

    Re-read my post, I conceded that I am not aware of all the facts around the GND, however I know what sort of impact SPA’s, SCA’, SSSI’s etc can have on a local community.

    The other significant difference between us is that my focus is on the Island of Tiree and the local community and stakeholders rather than some form of crusade against wind power which you and NTA are fighting.

    Given you have more constructive things to do with your time, can I suggest that NTA engage with the local community, perhaps hold open evenings, provide factual information on the Tiree Array and gauge local opinion. You may recall that I suggested you do this over a year ago?

    Regards

    Lachie

  • Hi.

    Yes I have the audacity (dare to be so bold) please check these facts out;
    I refer you to JNCC Reports 416: birds using the waters of Mull, Coll and Tiree during the non-breeding season an assessment of the area’s potential for qualification as a marine SPA
    Report:SNH Commisioned Report 339.Report: Natura 2000 Standard Data Form:RefUK9003034. RSPB Report No20.June2006 etc plus SPR’s own planned EIA.

    If you wish to make a decision as to if you are pro or anti the Array get a move on because most the folks I talk to have already decided. If you feel you have access to better data and facts, more objective information for the community and wider public (this does not only affect the folks on Tiree as you know) then start an information campaign

    Ref your comment’SPA’s, SCA’, SSSI’s etc can have on a local community’ please explain what effect you feel the Tiree SCA has had on Tiree, to it’s employment levels, economy or Corncrake population? Like wise what effect has the SSSI on Tiree had on Tiree’s economy etc…Please explain what effects the Tiree Array is likley to have on our environment…you might want to expand into the realms of micro climate change…? You might even wish to take on the change to come involving population increase and it’s associated problems, or population decrease as second home owners and tourists sell up or move on.

    I suggest you log onto http://www.no-tiree-array.org.uk or read the bi weekly An Tirisdeach in hard copy. There are plenty of folk from the community who contact us and disscuss the Array and it’s implications…those that percieve their is a lack of interface simply have to send an email, write a letter or speak to us face to face…but it seems they are too busy trying to get answers out of the Scottish Government and SPR.

    You have suggested many things Lachie, my time is given on a free basis…and it is fortunate that as we are getting somewhere with this project in Iraq…which alows me to be involved with NTA again.

    FYI. I seem to continual quest to see what good the Argyll Array could
    bring to Tiree…everytime I read a new, old or virtually hidden report I only ever discover another detrimental effect. I have stood by the 35km offshore since day one and would have been happy to support a development there, maybe even some support infrastructure on Tiree. But now looking at the whole/the knock on effects/the stategic effects of such mega development…I relise you can’t have one without the other, I am anti this Array and anti the other two possible locations N & S of Tiree…I am not anti community renewables projects.

    You have my personal email address: if you want to continue this thread please drop me a line…I feel this is taking over the page.

    Karl

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