Argyll Array Project Update No. 10 – June 2011

Public Information Day, Tuesday 28th June – Questions and Answers

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What is this event?

This is an exhibition of the latest information on the Argyll Array project, attended by a number of ScottishPower Renewables staff.

When will it be open on Tuesday?

It will be open from 2.00pm until 6.30pm. All are welcome to drop in any time. The exhibition is suitable for a quick visit, just to look at the materials, or a longer visit to discuss issues with a specialist from the company.

Where will it be held?

It will be in the main hall of An Talla.

What will be on display?

There will be a number of posters, each giving information on a part of the project. For example, there will be a poster on the planning process for the wind farm and project timescales. There will also be photomontages, sometimes called ‘visualisations’ of how the wind turbines might appear.

How many photomontages will there be?

There will be eight in total. There will be four photomontages which assume 300 turbines of 6 MW size. Four other photomontages, from the same viewpoints, will assume 180 turbines of 10 MW size. The number of turbines proposed in the final planning application will depend on the capacity size of turbine proposed. The visualisations attempt to show a range of possible project sizes.

What are the viewpoints and how were they chosen?

They are from Balephuil, Sandaig, Ben Hough and Ruaig. They were chosen to give a representative idea of how the turbines might look from a range of viewpoints and to provide comparison with photomontages that have been produced by others. SPR will have a form available on the day for people to suggest and explain the viewpoint location(s) they consider should be included in the formal planning application.

How were the photomontages produced?

They are based on actual photographs taken in Tiree this month. A specialised computer programme was then used to place the turbines into the photographs, as if the turbines had been there when the original pictures were taken.

Do the photomontages show what the wind farm is definitely going to look like?

No. We do not yet know what size the turbines will actually be, how many there may be and where exactly they will be placed in the development site. It’s not possible at the moment, therefore, to show with any certainty what the wind farm will look like.

So what do they show?

They show a realistic picture of what the turbines would look like from the viewpoints if they were of a certain size, there were a certain number of them and they were in a certain pattern. These factors will be determined by various constraints and there will be more information on these at the exhibition. The photomontages are therefore indicative and not definitive.

Does this mean the photomontages are inaccurate?

No, we believe that they are a fair representation of what the development would look like if the turbines were of these certain sizes, numbers and patterns in the site. It’s the lack of certainty regarding these matters that means they are not accurate representations of what the turbines will definitely look like if the development goes ahead.

So, why were the photomontages produced?

Firstly, because there was a clear demand from Tiree for an indication of the kind of visual impact the development could have. We also felt that, even though accurate visualisations of what the development will look like if it goes ahead were not possible, these visualisations give an excellent chance for everyone to discuss and debate the issues raised by the visual impact of the development. This is the first stage on the road to the eventual submission of the final visualisations that will be part of the planning application in 2013.

Who from ScottishPower Renewables will be attending the event?

Those attending will include David Walker, Argyll Array Project Director who has overall responsibility for the project within the company, Ralph Thornton, Argyll Array Project Manager who has day to day responsibility for planning the project and Morna Cannon, Assistant Project Manager. There will also be a number of specialists present, able to discuss the planning process generally, and also the possibilities regarding offshore construction, operations and maintenance, grid connection, environmental assessments, socio-economic issues, visual impacts and the consultation process.

Anything else?

There will be at least one more exhibition of this kind in Tiree during 2012, before a planning application is submitted in 2013. This exhibition will be left in Tiree after the Public Information Day so it can be viewed by those unable to be there on the 28th. It will be on display at the Rural Centre over the summer. There will also be a Public Information Day in Coll on Monday 27th June, attended by Ralph Thornton and Morna Cannon.

Finally, teas and light refreshments will be available during the exhibition on Tuesday 28th in An Talla.

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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