No Tiree Array
Will this be the scale of things to come if Tiree Array is consented?
Visual Impact: Gamesa (20 % owned by Iberdrola) a major Spanish turbine manufacturer, and supplier to Iberdrola, is currently designing a comparable 7MW turbine. SPR, to maximize Tiree Array is considering deploying 10MW turbines units. Current technical information on 10 mw units is sparse but suggests the over-all dimensions of a 10MW unit will approximate to those of the 7MW unit. Either way the visual impact of the Array basis 7MW or 10MW turbines units will be a considerable scale-up from the visualizations SPR presented in June 2011. SPR have advised NTA they have no intention of presenting the appropriate visualizations till much closer to submitting their planning application.Converter AStation: According to SPR updates in AnT, a decision will be taken shortly as to whether this will be on shore Tiree, or off-shore within the Array. Yet Tiree has not been offered a visualization of what the onshore converter station may look like. Other than minimal information that it ‘would measure approximately 100x 50X25M high’ (SPR Scoping request p18) Tiree knows nowt. Tiree has NO information re. pylonage (if any). landward and seaward access, site area or locatioN. In the event it is decided to be on-shore, would it become a deemed planning application? The latter has significant implications. NTA is seeking Marine Scotland’s clarification.
Foundation Issues and the Planning Application:- The last NTA update made reference to the 2 contrasting foundation types ie jacket and gravity. As the attendees to SPR’s Barrow visit established, there is a significant difference in the visual impact of the Array, depending on the foundation type. NTA’s analysis suggests jacket foundations (pictured) may be the most likely option.
The alternative, gravity foundations, would require levelling Skerryvore’s seabed to within 1m which can only be achieved by dredging (SPR agree not an option), explosives (SPR states ‘currently’ not an option), or infilling (SPR hasn’t commented). In addressing this issue with SPR it would appear that even jacket foundations pose technical issues. SPR advise ‘we need site data to design a suitable foundation solution’ This in turn suggests that SPR, currently, does not have a foundation solution, and begs the obvious question ie may SPR’s planning application be delayed until such time as a foundation solution is found? SPR advise;- “For the planning application we don’t need an engineered design”. NTA is seeking clarification from Marine Scotland.
D Trump: As reported in the National Press, Donald Trump has written to Alex Salmond accusing the First Minister of seeming “hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline with wind power”. Not withstanding Mr Trump’s colourful persona, or his manifest self-interest, or one’s personal opinion of him, he has awakened a much needed national debate. For more detailed information on all these topics go to NTA ‘s website:- www.no-tiree-array.org.uk