Tiree Community Trust Update

“These are exciting and challenging times for the Trust and Tiree”

The Trust welcomes two new members of staff this month. The posts attracted a lot of interest and there was strong competition for both positions.

Ann Kirby will be taking over as Trust Development Manager and Lynne MacKinnon as Local Development Officer. Lloyd Gudgeon is moving into a new role for the Trust as its Strategic Development Liaison Officer. Lloyd will now concentrate entirely on lobbying with government, the Council and SPR to ensure that Tiree’s needs and concerns are central to any development of the Tiree Array. This is a separate post from the one advertised by SPR in the last issue of An Tirisdeach. Trish O’Neil continues as Finance and Governance Officer and Sophie Isaacson as Youth Worker.

These are exciting and challenging times for the Trust and Tiree and we are fortunate to have such a strong team on board. Ann has been a director of TREL since 2006 as well as being a co-opted director of the Trust. She was instrumental in delivering Tilley, the community wind turbine for Tiree. She is a Chartered Accountant, qualified for over 20 years, as well as Vice Chair of Community Energy Scotland. Ann’s home number at Balemartine is 755. Lynne was born and brought up on Tiree and has been looking for the right opportunity to come back to live on Tiree. Her work leaves her job as In Flight Trainer for Loganair to return home. Lynne sees this role as an exciting opportunity to be a part of developing the future of the Island and working within the community.

All staff can be contacted on the office number 220074 or by email tireetrust{@}tireebroadband.com

Turbine update

September was a cracking month and Tilley produced 334 MWh, 40% over the prediction for the month. This was also after nearly 5 days of down time because of a technical issue, scheduled maintenance and training. This takes us 244 MWh above the expected output for the period 27 March to end of September, which gives us a cushion to cover unexpected downtime or calm periods.

October has started even better: 114 MWh in the first 5 and half days. Tuesday 5th was a red letter day, generating over 22 MWh. The wind hit 32 m/s or 70 mph at 4.20pm with an average speed of 19 m/s (43 mph) for the whole day! This week is Wave Classic so we all know what that means, flat calm.

We are still waiting for the first Feed in Tariff (FiT) payments to come through but these are expected shortly. These payments are guaranteed for the next 20 years and are based on how much Tilley produces each quarter. We also receive payment for the electricity exported to the Grid. Once these payments start to come in and the initial costs are covered, TREL hopes to be able to make its first payment to the Trust before the end of the year.

The Trust will be launching the Windfall Fund in the next few weeks. Please look out for more information in An Tirisdeach and posters around the Island.

Website

The Trust’s website is being updated with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), which we hope will help to keep people informed. There should also be the ARC monthly reports in full, along with records of the Tiree Array Forum meetings.

Youth Worker

Sophie has started the Duke of Edinburgh award group Monday 3.30pm at the school. There are already 10 keen members who are planning what to do for their bronze award. After the holidays this is moving to Wednesday evening.

The P1-4 Saturday morning club has been advertised and we’re still looking for a few more volunteers to commit to helping out. We really do need a couple more for this to go ahead. Please get in touch if you can help.

Sophie is also investigating the possibility of setting up a Sailing Club. We would like to know how many young people on the Island are interested in learning how to sail and taking part in races or sailing activities.

Tiree Array

This has been a busy time. The date for SPR to submit its detailed plans is getting ever nearer: they hope to be ready to ask for planning permission in early 2012.

We are concentrating our efforts on lobbying to be included in the planning process so we can influence decisions and so try to ensure that Tiree’s interests are covered.

SPR recently held public information days on Coll and Tiree. The event here on 23rd September was well attended, SPR estimate over 70 people during the day. They’ve reported they felt the day was useful, with lots of queries and general discussion from people who have previously been unable to attend meetings or join the Forum.

We are encouraging SPR to hold more of these days as soon as more information is available. Whilst the project is by no means certain to go ahead, with or without the Community’s support, these events are good opportunities to come along and talk directly to the people involved.

Forum

The Tiree Array Forum has been working hard to uncover as much information as possible about offshore windfarms and their impacts on local communities. This information is fed back to the Trust. We still have very little detailed information about what the Tiree Array will look like or its impact upon us, but we hope that the work of the Forum will go some way towards identifying the likely outcomes.

ARC

Argyll Renewable Communities (ARC) has responded to the SPR scoping document, raising a number of the concerns that the Trust raised in its own response.
In addition, ARC has written to the Scottish Government with concerns over its draft plan for development of offshore waters.

ARC is currently working on collecting case study information from 12 offshore sites in order to draw a picture of what happens elsewhere. We will be able to use this information when they have completed the work. ARC will meet with senior officials in Argyll & Bute Council to push for communities’ involvement in the planning process around the Array developments.

3 comments

  • Please print.

    Tiree Array aka the Argyll Array….
    People may think we (Tiree Community) currently have a say in the planning of this Array.
    Not so.
    A number of points.
    In line with popular opinion and in deference to our communities wishes SPR should be calling the Array, The Tiree Array…I think we all agree on this point? However I know of no formal request from the TT to have the name changed…maybe I am wrong. Please tell me if I am.
    I questioned Martin Mathers and Ralph Thornton (SPR project managers) as to why; Marine Scotland, The Crown Estates and A&B council were at a loss to SPR’s (Iberdrola’s) rationale behind calling the project the Argyll Array, when it was actually geographically and culturally surrounding the south of Tiree…they would not comment!
    I asked if they intended to take the local communities feelings onboard and re-name the project. To expensive was the reply….to expensive!!! I leave you to make your own conclusions.
    In all probability reducing the name to an historical region running from Cape Wrath to the Mull of Kintyre will make it sound like a vast wilderness where nobody lives…this in turn will reduce opposition…
    TT State: ‘We are concentrating our efforts on lobbying to be included in the planning process so we can influence decisions and so try to ensure that Tiree’s interests are covered’. We have no legally supported voice.
    The community is referred to as a stakeholder & consultees…there is no legal foundation for this. The TT is lobbying for us to have a voice…to become real stakeholders and real consultees…no success as yet…I will eat my hat if we get legal representation via our current subservient tactics.
    SPR promised, ‘promised’ the TT and forum members to present photographic montages at their ‘moony’ like open day of the proposed project…they ‘forgot’ to bring them.
    Not a single Question put to SPR was answered in an honest manner…
    Please all be aware that while SPR are managing to pull the wool over our eyes, tick all of the legal framework consultation boxes, look nice and smile into the wind (thoughts of £ in their minds) we TIREE is getting sold out.
    ‘SPR recently held public information days on Coll and Tiree’.
    Q: Why did they visit Coll ?
    A: Because the 200m 10mw turbines will be clearly visible from Coll, and Tiree will not be able to support all the 100 or so itinerant economically driven workers (and their families)
    Let me please correct An Tirisdeach on a major point: The event here on 23rd September was well attended, SPR estimate over 70 people during the day. They’ve reported they felt the day was useful, with lots of queries and general discussion from people who have previously been unable to attend meetings or join the Forum.
    The answer’s given were based on SPR’s (Iberdrola’s) perspective…many were open ended, non-specific, some downright untrue and subversive.
    The Forum would not give the same answers to many of the questions…again ‘WE’ are getting sold out.
    As a Trust and Forum member let me re-write expand on this section:
    Forum
    The Tiree Array Forum has been working hard-( as in trying to get blood out of a stone-) to uncover as much information -(as much objective truth)- as possible about offshore wind farms and their impacts on local communities -(and the environment)-. This information is fed back to the Trust -(yes it is and what happens to it)-. We still have very little detailed information about what the Tiree Array will look like (SPR/Ibedrola don’t want us to know what it will look like!) or its impact upon us (but SPR do!!!), but we hope that the work of the Forum will go some way towards identifying the likely outcomes. (HOPE…now we have to rely on hope????)
    • Dear Tiree, on Islanders of Islanders.
    SPR/IBERDROLA can’t believe how much of a soft touch we are…the Trust has drifted into working outside of its community mandate, they are working from a position of ‘Yes’ this will go ahead what impact can we mitigate…? and going to SPR/Iberdrola cap in hand.
    With sincere honesty I was originally for this development, I saw personal economic gain, and a possibility of a full-time job etc, etc…I was wrong, Very wrong…it is my now educated (6mths of forum effort) opinion that we as a community should be saying ‘no’ to every twist and turn of this project…Object to everything. On mass not attend their meetings (all the info is on the web or available from TT and the forum) Only by doing this will we have any say.
    If the array goes ahead we would have lost nothing…SPR/IBERDROLA do not have to put 1p into Tiree’s community…they can just take. They are a huge multi-national Spanish Company…given they stand to make billions of £ do you think they give a toss about our culture, our way of life.
    If we say ‘NO’, ‘NO’…and the project goes ahead at least we did not sell ourselves out, maybe there will be some token handouts…?
    If the project fails through fiscal or environmental problems (AKA Atlantic) then at worse we will be a tighter, closer community and there is no ‘£’ signs that can take that away…we would have gained that and lost nothing.

    Sincere respect
    Offshore View.

  • Hello,
    Anybody who wishes to know the ‘available’ objective facts about the TIREE ARRAY, and the ‘subjective possibilities’ of what the future holds for Tiree in regards to; cultural and social change, affects on housing market, loss of tourist revenue, loss of fishing grounds, loss of our seascape, light pollution, noise pollution, population explosion and ultimately the loss of our way of life.
    Can contact me directly at; argyllarray@hotmail.com
    You can then make an informed decision on whether to support the ‘Anti Tiree Array’ group.
    We have no affinity with the Tiree Trust or the Array Forum…though we welcome support from either of these groups, any individual; on island/off island/tourist and anybody that has a vested interest in the preservation of the Tiree ‘way of life’.
    We are not an anti renewable energy or anti green energy group.
    Thanks for your time.
    slàinte mhath
    Karl

  • ‘NO TIREE ARRAY GROUP…due to the overwhelming response to the available montages of ‘a section’ of the proposed wind-farm. A growing group of individual will be fighting the proposed Argyll Array development…the nature of this opposition will become apparent during the next weeks…

    Regards

    Karl

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