Argyll Array Project Update #34 – September 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoPublic Information Day (PID)

This year’s Public Information Day (PID) for the project will be held on Thursday 4th October between 2.00pm and 7.00pm, in Tiree Rural Centre, Crossapol. Complimentary light refreshments will be available all day from the Cobbled Cow. The format will be the same as at the last PID; members of the public are invited to drop in anytime during the day to view a number of information and consultation displays. These will include displays on;

· How protecting the wildlife at the wind farm site may influence the project

· An update of SPR’s technical and environmental studies.

· Consultation on SPR’s current thinking regarding the wind farm converter station

· Information and consultation on the proposals for sharing the benefit of the project

· Information on the project timetable and the next steps

There will be a chance to discuss these and any other aspects of the project with the project team and a number of other specialist staff from SPR. There will also be a number of ways of making comment.

The Environmental Statement (ES)

Avid readers will recall that I outlined the background and purpose of this important document in my last update. It’s a legally required part of the planning application, written by independent consultants. It assesses the environmental impacts that the building, operation and decommissioning of the project could have and how any significant impacts can be reduced or avoided.

So, what are some of the aspects of the environment that it actually assesses? It assesses the potential effect on all aspects of-

· tides, currents, waves, sediments, seabed and water quality at the wind farm site

· seabed life, marine mammals, basking sharks, birds, fish and shellfish at the wind farm site

· the ecology of Tiree itself

· commercial fishing, navigation, air traffic, radar and military activity at the wind farm site

· tourism, recreation, general socio?economic conditions in Tiree and other human activity

· landscape, seascape, cultural heritage, noise, air and climate

Each of these headings will be studied in detail and the final Environmental Statement will be the result of a process that has continually evolved the project design in order to take account of environmental impacts. This is the process which is just beginning now.

The Environmental Statement will be used as a very important (but not the only) piece of evidence to weigh in the balance when the decision is made whether to give permission to build the windfarm. If permission is given, the ES may also form the basis of any conditions imposed on the development.

No responsible developer, such as SPR, will propose an effect on the environment that is outside the law and neither can any regulator approve such a proposal. The Environmental Statement will be used to demonstrate and ensure compliance with the law regarding offshore windfarm development. While there will be no specific presentation at the PID on the process of producing an Environmental Statement, SPR staff will be happy to discuss any aspect of it on the day.

Future updates

· What’s a pre?application consultation?

· What’s a decommissioning plan?

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 number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

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