Tag Archives: Argyll Array

Argyll Array Project Update #23 – February 2012

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Community Partnership Fund

The first meeting with Tiree Community Development Trust to discuss this initiative took place on the 24th of January.
A joint report of that meeting appears elsewhere in this issue.

Marine Traffic Survey

As I said in the last update, there are due to be two surveys of marine traffic on the wind farm site this year. The first of these has started this week.Marico are the company carrying out the survey on SPR’s behalf, for the next two weeks or so.

The main survey point will be near the top of Ceann a’Mhara to gain the best radar sweep of the wind farm site. This is difficult work, not least due to the difficulty of getting the equipment on to the hill and coping with the wind exposure. Anyone interested in seeing how the work is done and how the data is gathered is welcome to go along to visit the survey, subject to any safety restrictions that may be in force at the time. The team are based at MacKay’s Cottage in Balephuil for the duration of the survey or can be contacted through myself.

Engineering Foundation Programme

ScottishPower’s 2012 Engineering Foundation Programme is now open for applications and this is a tremendous opportunity to learn valuable skills and start off a worthwhile career in the electricity industry.

The programme is a partnership between some Scottish colleges and ScottishPower and is designed to equip school leavers with the skills and qualifications to support progression onto an Engineering Apprenticeship.

Over an academic year the individuals achieve a qualification that focuses on Electrical Engineering at Level Two. ScottishPower currently recruits for the programmes in Scotland and also in the North West of England and North Wales.

If any young person from Tiree would be interested in applying for a place on this year’s programme then, in the first instance, please 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.

In 2011, three Engineering Foundation Students secured an apprenticeship with ScottishPower’s Energy Networks business and a further four have been offered positions with the contractor IQA.

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 220352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

Argyll Array Project Update #22 – January 2012

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Welcome to the first Argyll Array Project Update of the year. I and the rest of the Project Team would like to wish everyone a happy, peaceful and healthy 2012.

Community Partnership Fund

The first meeting with Tiree Community Development Trust to discuss this initiative will take place during the week beginning 23rd of January.I will provide a report of that meeting in my next update.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The company are still working towards a deadline of Spring 2013 for submitting the application for consent. To support the application we need to write an Environmental Statement (part of the Environmental Impact Assessment – EIA). A variety of assessments into the human, biological and physical environment will be necessary in order to complete the Environmental Statement. WSP Group were appointed at the end of last year as our lead consultants on the EIA. They will be responsible for managing and co-ordinating these assessments on SPR’s behalf.

What have we done already?

– We have completed two years worth of bird and marine mammal monitoring on the wind farm site, and are now conducting an impact assessment on the basis of the data we gathered.

– During this week consultants Cathie Associates have been carrying out a visual geological survey of the island. The survey was carried out by geologists walking the terrain and observing the surface geology. There may be a follow-up survey later in the year. The results of the survey will be used to complement the sea bed geophysical surveys to be done on the wind farm site itself later this year.

What will we be doing next?

– There will be a survey of benthic (seabed) ecology on the wind farm site and possible export cable route. The data collected will be used to assess the potential effects of the wind farm on seabed habitats and species.

– The three wave buoys and current profilers which I mentioned in a couple of updates last year will be deployed on the wind farm site. The intention is to leave these instruments in place for one year. The data collected from these will be used to assess the potential effects of the wind farm on sediment movement and wave patterns. It will also inform many aspects of the technical design of the project.

– There will be two surveys of marine traffic on the wind farm site. The first of these will be in late winter, probably February, and the other later in the year. The surveys will be carried out from onshore on Tiree itself. Marico are the company carrying out the survey on SPR’s behalf. There will therefore be a couple of vehicles deploying a radio and antenna at various spots near the west coast of the island for the duration of the survey. The survey is expected to take about two weeks.

– Detailed work will commence on both the potential landscape/visual effects of the project and the potential socio-economic effects of the project. There will be more information on both these important aspects of the EIA as they get under way.

Technical Design Work

– Work continues on developing the engineering design of the project. In support of this, in Spring/Summer, a geophysical survey of the wind farm site and potential export cable route will be undertaken. This survey, conducted from a vessel, will measure the seabed depth, and yield information on the seabed sediment types and their thickness. The data from these surveys will inform decisions about where turbines and cables can be placed on the seabed. There will be full consultation with local fishermen regarding how this survey can be carried out with minimal disruption to fishing activity.

– This Spring/Summer we hope to apply for planning permission to erect an onshore meteorological mast on the west coast of Tiree, as described in a couple of updates last year. This mast will obviously provide us with accurate information on wind speed and direction. – Over the next few months work will continue to identify the preferred cable route to take the electricity from the wind farm back to the national transmission system. It was decided late last year not to take the export cables over Tiree and Coll. We still have to assess whether the cable route might pass over Mull or go completely undersea and, once it reaches Oban, the best route to then get it to the connection point at Dalmally. We also still have to decide whether the converter station which will be needed at or near the wind farm will be sited on Tiree or offshore.

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 220352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

Argyll Array Project Update 21 – December 2011

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Community Partnership Fund

How Tiree could gain from the Argyll Array project has been the subject of a number of my updates over the last few months and has been frequently raised as an issue in comments on the project.
SPR has been looking closely at this matter over the last few months, with the objective of sharing its conclusions with the island before the end of this year. The company is now happy to be able to confirm its commitment to the principle of creating a Community Partnership Fund, a mechanism that will provide direct investment in Tiree and the people who live on the island, to support local projects and initiatives. Some of this investment could be in place in the near future and could then grow as the development reaches certain milestones such as consent and full operation.
This would enable the whole of Tiree, as the wind farm’s close neighbour, to share in the positives that arise from the harvesting of our common natural resources.
A number of factors were taken into account in making the decision. These factors will continue to influence the next stages. These include-

  • A number of organisations, such as Argyll & Bute Council, will have legitimate contributions to make regarding the development and application of the fund.
  • The investment will be unique to the Argyll Array project and if used effectively, will positively support Tiree economically and socially
  • The investment will be additional to and completely separate from any sums paid by SPR to individuals or businesses in Tiree under private contracts or agreements related to the development and operation of the wind farm
  • The investment will also be separate to any improvements to Tiree infrastructure essential for the development of the project, such as an improved harbour or improved communication networks.

The finally agreed form of the investment will be outlined in a legally binding agreement. Of course, the practical detail of how the investment will be made has yet to be worked out. SPR will begin initial discussions with the Tiree community in the New Year regarding this. I will include information on the progress of the Community Partnership Fund discussions in my first Updates of 2012.
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

ARGYLL ARRAY PROJECT UPDATE No 18 October 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logoLocal Consultation Events

There have been a number of consultation and information events in Tiree over the last six months. I also write this regular update in An Tirisdeach. However, a number of people have commented that they would like to find out more about the development directly. I have, therefore, been hosting ‘Township Meetings’ over the last month or so. Two such meetings have been held so far. The meetings are by letter invitation to all residents of a number of neighbouring townships and are planned to be smaller and more relaxed events than island-wide meetings.

There’s no formal programme for the evenings; they’re relaxed opportunities for people to ask questions, discuss issues or hear more about the project, as they wish. I’m the only representative of ScottishPower Renewables at the meetings and members of the Tiree Trust are also invited along. Townships to the south and west of a line from Balevullin to Hynish have been involved in the two meetings held so far. Another three such meetings between now and Christmas will see all townships covered and I hope that as many as possible will be able to attend their particular meeting.

As well as these general meetings I also hope to meet with businesses in important sectors of the Tiree economy before Christmas.

Visit to Offshore Wind Farms

As I said in my last update, one of the issues arising from the visit to wind farms off the town of Barrow in the Irish Sea last month was the visual impact of jacket foundations for offshore wind turbines. Some of the turbines seen during the visit had jacket-type foundations.

The most common type of foundation used in onshore or offshore wind farms is the monopile foundation. As the name suggests, a monopile foundation is a single pile driven deeply and firmly into the ground or sea bed and upon which the turbine tower is fixed. This is what we often see in pictures of offshore wind turbines. Another type of foundation sometimes used in offshore windfarms is a gravity foundation. A gravity foundation is simply a large concrete block, sometimes filled with water, which rests on the sea bed and upon which a turbine tower is fixed. The visual effect of both monopiles and gravity foundations is that the turbine tower appears to rise directly out of the sea. A third type of foundation used for offshore windfarms is a jacket foundation. A jacket foundation looks different to monopile or gravity base foundations. A jacket is essentially a three or four legged structure, whose legs are piled into the sea bed to fix them. The legs are further strengthened by a metal lattice and the structure rises above sea level, with a platform on the top. It is upon this platform that the turbine tower is fixed.

No seabed surveys have yet been carried out on the Argyll Array site nor has any analysis yet been made of the environmental impact of the different forms of foundation. It’s therefore not yet possible to say what foundation type is likely to be used in the Argyll Array. SPR is, however, very aware of possible visual impact concerns about jacket foundations and this will be an important factor to be considered when making a decision about foundation types for the planning application.

Another issue that came out of the visit was the visual impact of the wind farms at night. The lights on the turbines were visible from shore and, while the effect was far from industrial, it was more than some on the visit had anticipated. A possible reason for this is the mandatory guidance on safety lighting and the number of individual wind farms in that part of the Irish Sea. An individual wind farm has navigation lighting on some turbines around its perimeter. When there are several separate wind farms, as is the case in that part of the Irish Sea, each individual wind farm has to be lit round its perimeter. This means that when looking at a number of wind farms off Barrow, there are more lights visible than there would be if these turbines were part of a single wind farm. Another possible reason is that the individual identification lights on the turbines seen during the visit appeared to be visible from 10 kilometres, and were much brighter than would be required in the Argyll Array.

For all individual offshore wind farms, including Argyll Array, one turbine roughly every 4 kilometres round the perimeter has a maritime navigation light. A number also have an aviation navigation light, designed to be seen from the air. Finally, each turbine in the wind farm has an identification light, to illuminate the turbine number on the tower, in the event that a vessel in distress inside the wind farm at night needs to identify its location. The identification lights in the Argyll Array would be no brighter than needed for that purpose i.e. visible from only 50 metres away. SPR therefore anticipates that the night time lighting in the Argyll Array would not have as much visual impact as that seen on the visit but is nevertheless aware of the sensitivity of the issue.

Night time lighting will be assessed in the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, carried out as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project.

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

Argyll Array Project Update 17 October 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logoOffshore wind careers evening

There was a good turnout at the careers evening organised by SPR at the end of last month. There were brief talks from two SPR Operations and Maintenance managers and also from a work boat operator, who had travelled from the Netherlands especially for the event.

The Careers Service gave their professional perspective on future careers in the offshore wind industry. Most of the evening, however, was given over to a number of interesting discussions about the practicalities of working on an offshore wind farm. The main points coming out of the evening were

  •  Offshore wind farm Operations and Maintenance provides career opportunities in all areas; professional, technical, craft, administrative and manual, with all of these equally appropriate for men and women.
  • The current entry method is mainly through having existing skills in any of those areas. · The next few years will see specific training for offshore Operations and Maintenance being developed.
  • The industry provides new opportunities for good quality, secure jobs. This is the case nationally but would have particular impact on Tiree were any part of the Argyll Array Operations and Maintenance to be sited here.
  •  Electrical, Mechanical, Electronic engineering, aeronautical and even car mechanic type backgrounds, to vocational standards (HNC, HND etc) and higher, provide an excellent grounding for work as turbine technicians.
  • Offshore oil and gas skills are also transferable to offshore wind.
  •  Going along to the Scenario Mapping events taking place between now and Christmas in Tiree gives an excellent opportunity to understand and influence how Operations and Maintenance for the Argyll Array could develop.

A number of those who were able to come along found the format and contributors relaxed and informative. The company would like to thank those who travelled to Tiree and also all those who attended for making the evening such a success.

Tiree visit to Offshore Windfarms

Ralph and Morna from the SPR Project Team took four visitors from Tiree to view offshore windfarms from Barrow-in-Furness in north west England on the 26th and 27th September.

The visitors from Tiree were Robert Trythall, Clare Jones, Sophie Isaacson and Ian MacInnes. The aim of the visit was to demonstrate what an offshore windfarm looks like from the coast, to give an idea of the jobs and infrastructure involved in construction/operations of an offshore windfarm, and to demonstrate SPR’s approach to development of windfarms.

On Monday the group visited SPR’s Whitelee windfarm and Visitors’ Centre on Eaglesham moor outside Glasgow, then drove to Barrow-In-Furness, in Cumbria. At Barrow, the group drove along Walney Island, and viewed the Barrow, Ormonde and Walney offshore windfarms from the coast including viewing the turbines at night.

The next day the group visited the Walney Offshore Wind farm’s construction base, and spent the day talking to staff from DONG Energy, who run the site. The group spoke to staff involved in project management, port operations, marine logistics, workboat crew, administration and health and safety. The group members have all given their personal impressions of the visit in the accounts published elsewhere in this week’s paper. I think it’s fair to say that the three main issues which come out of these accounts are

  1.   The potential for economic and social development from an offshore wind farm.
  2. The visual impact of jacket foundations.
  3. The visual impact of the wind farm at night.

These last two points are things the company is taking very seriously and I will have more to say about them next week.

Future updates

  •  Details of local consultation meetings
  • More on the wind farm visit

 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

Argyll Array Project Update #16 September 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logoScenario Mapping

The Project Team has been working recently to create detailed ‘scenarios ‘of how Operations and Maintenance of the Argyll Array could potentially work if the base was sited wholly or partly in Tiree.Operations and Maintenance (or O&M) is the work which needs to be done once a wind farm is built and it begins to generate electricity.

Over the 25 year lifespan of a wind farm, turbines have to be serviced and repaired and technicians and spares have to be quickly and efficiently transported to the wind farm. We have outlined a number of options, or ‘scenarios’, for that and these will enable people to better understand what the onshore impacts of the project could be in Tiree.

It’s important to emphasise that these scenarios are concerned with what may happen onshore in Tiree and are not focused on questions about the actual wind turbines themselves. It’s also important to say that the scenarios are not definite plans-they are possibilities or options for how O&M could be done. We have provided these scenarios to the consultants who are carrying out the Scenario Mapping process on behalf of a group led by Argyll and Bute Council. These will form part of the consultation event to be held soon in Tiree.

Like the previous event last month, this is not an SPR event. However, this is a really good opportunity to get more information about the possible impacts- if O&M was cited in Tiree- of such things as new jobs, increased transport activity, new infrastructure and increased economic activity generally. This will enable the community to be better informed about these possible options and allow a clearer picture to emerge of Tiree’s views about them when the consultation is complete by the end of the year.

Benefits from the wind farm

Some of the O&M scenarios that will be presented in the Scenario Mapping process have the potential to be of great benefit to Tiree both economically and socially.

They could bring good quality jobs and improved infrastructure to the island. However, it has been clear to the company for some time that there is an expectation that other direct positive impacts could also come from the Argyll Array. This has been evident from conversations round the island, from views put to us by the Tiree Trust and from the comments at the Public Information Day in June. Keen readers of these Updates will remember that I said in August that the company was working on what form that positive impact could take. So this is something else the Project Team has been working on recently and we’re committed to saying more about this once the Scenario Mapping process is complete.

Public Information Days on Grid Route Selection

A major part of the project will be the system needed to transmit the electricity generated by the wind farm to the National Grid.

The electricity has to be transmitted by an export cable to a site at Cruachan, near Dalmally, on the Argyll mainland. This will require the grid route to go from the wind farm, both on the sea bed and on land, to get there.

Much work has been done over the summer on looking at potential grid routes. The options have now been reduced to a number of potential routes, which will be the subject of Public Information Days next month. These Information Days will be similar to that held in Tiree in June. The public will be able to see a number of possible grid routes and to make comments on them.

Public bodies such as the Scottish Government, the Council and SNH will be asked for comments. Representative groups such as users of the sea and land along the routes will also be invited to comment. Once the Information Days have been held, the company will take account of all the comments and of the technical data before selecting one or two routes to look at more closely. This closer look will involve a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the route(s), essentially the same as will be done for the wind farm itself.

The Public Information Days will be held in Mull, Oban and Dalmally in the middle of next month. There will be no Public Information Day in Tiree at this time. This is because the situation as regards the grid route is different for Tiree.

The first difference is that none of the potential grid transmission routes to Dalmally crosses Tiree and Coll. All of the potential routes go from the wind farm undersea, directly to other parts of Argyll and Bute. There will therefore be no cable transmission route to Dalmally across Tiree and Coll.

The second difference is to do with the transmission of the electricity. The electricity from the wind farm has to be converted from AC to DC before transmission, to reduce energy losses on the long journey to Dalmally. Another converter station at Dalmally will then convert it back to AC. A decision has not yet been made about where the wind farm converter station could be and this could affect Tiree.
The converter station could be within the wind farm itself, on a large platform out at sea. The electricity from the turbines would go to the platform to be converted and then head undersea, for transmission to other parts of Argyll.

Another option is that the electricity from the turbines would go to a converter station in Tiree to be converted before it was transmitted, initially undersea, to Dalmally.

If a converter station were to be proposed in Tiree, SPR would take into consideration the need to minimize the lengths of cables into and out of it. So, because the transmission grid route will not cross Tiree and Coll there will be no Grid Route Public Information Day next month in Tiree. However, when a potential site for the converter station has been identified, either offshore or onshore, a decision will then be made about a Public Information Day in Tiree.

Future updates

  • A report on the visit to an offshore wind farm in England
  • A report on the Offshore Wind Careers Evening.

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

Argyll Array Project Update 15 September 2011

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Below are responses to the last of the points made at the Public Information Day held in late June. Only one or two of the comments made have not now been responded to.I will look at these in the next update.

  • Concern about effects on tourism and lack of formal contact with representatives of tourism – Any effects on tourism will be looked at closely in the socio-economic section of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project. If there are any potential negative effects, there may equally be positive effects. For example, any harbour improvements resulting from the project may encourage yachting tourism, a very valuable business which Tiree presently can’t access .It’s also possible to discuss tourism issues specifically with those concerned and I will be taking that forward directly in the next few weeks.
  • Concern that the wind farm be further out to sea, and desire that there should be fewer, but larger, turbines arranged not to present a ‘wall’ to the island – While there were few comments like this in June, there were considerably more over the summer, mostly from visitors to the island who had gone to the exhibition in the Rural Centre. The company is very aware of the issue and this will be taken account of in the Landscape and Visual Assessment which will be another part of the EIA. As I said in June, the photomontages were indications of what might be, not predictions of what will be. The sea bed conditions and a number of other constraints will determine the final placing of the turbines in the site.
  • A desire for more detail about onshore development, operations and maintenance possibilities and helicopter noise. – The Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping consultation being carried out now will go into some detail regarding the whole issue of what may be developed onshore for operations and maintenance. It has not been possible up to now to identify in more detail the basic options presented in June. But since then a considerable amount of work has been done on this and the information will be passed to the consultants carrying out the consultation on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council. The possible options for an Operations and Maintenance presence on Tiree will therefore be presented more fully at the next consultation event during the first week of October. While this will not be an SPR event, there will be SPR representatives attending to answer any questions. This will be a very important event for giving more information about this major aspect of the project and I would encourage as many as possible to come along. Keep a look out for the advertisement in An Tirisdeach.

Careers Information Evening

The offshore wind industry in Scotland will be a rapidly growing part of the economy over the next twenty years. There is also the possibility that the Argyll Array development may increase the numbers of good quality, secure jobs available in Tiree.

The company has been in discussions with the Tiree Trust for some time now about how Tiree could become better informed of potential opportunities in this area. We’re delighted, then, that we’ll be able to hold an Offshore Wind Careers evening in Tiree at the end of this month. It will be held at An Talla at 7.00pm on Thursday 29th September.

Who is this event for?

It’s for anyone interested in careers in offshore wind. However, it will be of particular interest to people of working age who are interested in finding out how they could prepare themselves over the next five years or so for employment in the industry. We hope young people who have not yet decided on a career path and school pupils of about 14 and older and their parents will also find it very useful.

What will be discussed?

The evening will give a flavour of what jobs are actually done on an offshore wind farm;
how people repair and service turbines offshore, how people onshore monitor the turbines and co-ordinate the work on them and how the technicians and materials are transported to the turbines. We hope to give concrete examples of how people have joined the industry and how people can plan for education and training to enable them to do so too.

Who will be leading the evening?

There will be three people currently working in the industry there to talk about their experiences of their work and how their careers have developed. There will be careers specialists able to talk about current and future training /education routes and what people interested in joining the industry should do now to prepare themselves. There will also be SPR representatives there, able to discuss matters specific to the company.

What will be the format of the evening?

There will be a brief introduction covering the industry in general and how people from Tiree could become involved in it. The three industry workers will then each give a brief outline of their work and how they got there. A brief presentation on careers pathways and education/training will follow. The main part of the evening will be a chance for people to speak directly with the workers and careers specialist in organised small groups, over a cup of tea, to allow the kind of questions and discussion which are sometimes difficult in large meetings.

I hope this evening will be informative but relaxed and I look forward to it being a successful first step in this important area.

Future updates

· Final responses to comments made at the Public Information Day

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

Argyll Array Project Update #12 July 2011

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Electronic versions of photomontages

There have been a number of requests for the photomontages displayed recently at the Public Information Day to be published on our website. This will now be done in the near future.

Our website will also feature guidance on how to interpret the electronic versions. It remains the case that electronic versions of the montages can make the visual impact appear either less or greater, depending on presentation – the guidance will address this issue.

The exhibition housed in the Rural Centre is still the best way to view the photomontages as they were designed for this kind of presentation. Opening times for this exhibition were in my last update.

There has been comment from a small number of people regarding the integrity of the photomontages and the methods by which they were produced. Our photographers were on Tiree for a set period of time, and the photographs for the visualisations show the best viewing conditions available during that time. The method used to superimpose the turbines upon the original photographs was that stipulated by the regulator. The same method will be used in visualisations accompanying the formal planning application. A greater number of visualisations will be produced to accompany the formal application. The viewpoints selected for the exhibition were chosen to give an accurate representation of what the development could look like from a small number of important sites. The viewpoints for the exhibition montages were chosen to enable direct comparison to be made with those presented by others.

At present we are consulting with Tiree as to the viewpoints desired for the formal application. It’s fair to say that highly reputable specialist consultants and a responsible developer simply could not associate themselves with material that was dishonest or unfairly presented.

Public Information Day

A total of 24 comment forms were returned from the 121 attendees. The general feeling was that the presentation was informative and very well presented. There was a desire expressed for more detail on what benefits the project would deliver for the island as well as concern from some over the visual impact of the wind farm.

There were also requests for more information on a variety of topics, particularly regarding onshore impacts. Individual comment sheets cannot be reproduced here but the following gives more detail on the points made, under six headings. Each point was made once by one person unless shown otherwise in brackets.

socio-economics

  • Desire to see something (e.g. airport upgrade, road resurfacing, economic impact) in return for any negative impacts of the windfarm (SIX COMMENTS)
  • Desire for a guarantee on jobs from the project (THREE COMMENTS)
  • Concern that windfarm will damage tourism
  • Query as to representation from island on tourism issues
  • Desire for more detail on fishing impacts
  • Query regarding community benefit payments

Visual impact

  • Opinion that photomontages show a negative visual impact (FOUR COMMENTS)
  • Desire for visualizations of night-time views (TWO COMMENTS)
  • Desire for wind farm to be moved further out to sea (TWO COMMENTS)
  • Desire for visualisations of ‘onshore’ scenarios
  • Belief in others’ photomontages rather than SPR’s
  • Concern over technical accuracy of photomontages
  • Concern over presentation of converter stations in photomontages
  • Request for a map layout with 300 turbines
  • Request for a constraints map
  • Preference for larger (and therefore, fewer) turbines
  • Avoid lines of turbines creating a dense wall effect when viewed end on

Character of island

  • Concern that the visual impact will damage the character of the island
  • Desire to leave the island if the project goes ahead
  • Concern that there would be nothing positive for the island from the project

Consultation

  • Well presented, informative staff at exhibition (TWELVE COMMENTS)
  • Good hospitality at exhibition (THREE COMMENTS)
  • Understanding that the Environmental Impact Assessment has still to be undertaken
  • Desire for more detailed information through An Tirisdeach
  • Desire for more detailed information in the exhibition itself
  • Desire for more information on the converter station
  • Desire for more detail on helicopter noise
  • Desire for more information on onshore development
  • Desire for the project to be named ‘Tiree Array’

Ecological impacts

  • Concern about potential for impacts from anti-fouling chemicals (TWO COMMENTS)
  • General concern for potential impacts on wildlife

Other

  • Scepticism about the ability of project to cope with weather and sea conditions
  • Recognition of the difficulty of not having all the information yet
  • Plea to continue to keep the community informed
  • Support for wind farms generally
  • Desire for clarity regarding an operations and maintenance strategy prior to application for the windfarm

All of these comments are being taken account of as the project is developed, and a brief response to each will be published in future updates.

Very many thanks to all who took the time to make comments and for the constructive approach taken by the vast majority. When the exhibition in the Rural Centre closes, the same will be done with the comments submitted from there.

Masterplanning

The consultants for this important work (a company called Ironside Farrar) have now been appointed and will be beginning work in Tiree in the near future. SPR’s main input will be giving information on the possible options for onshore developments if the project goes ahead. The bulk of the work, however, will focus on what various sections of the Tiree community and others see as being the best way forward for onshore developments.

We would encourage all who have a view on this to get involved in the process.

Future updates

  • Responses to comments made at the Public Information Day
  • Trip to view an offshore wind farm
  • Careers information

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

Tiree Trust Update

Trust directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Wright as our new Finance and Governance officer. Andy’s roots are on Tiree, and he is looking forward to moving here with his wife Hannah and 12 week old baby daughter. Andy’s post, like Ann’s post as development manager, is funded by the Big Lottery as part of the Harvesting the Wind Award the Community received in 2008 (Sophie’s position is very generously funded by the Robertson Trust, while Lynne’s post is funded by HIE).

TILLEY

November was another very good month for Tilley, generating 232 MWh, which takes the total for the year to date to over 2100 MWh, still ahead of our projections. We will be holding a public open day/evening in mid or late Jan to launch the Windfall Fund. This will also be an opportunity for you to tell Lynne what you want to be included in the new Community Development Plan. We are delighted that TREL has received the 2010 Scottish Renewable Energy Award for Best Community Initiative. This was for “an initiative that has been lead and developed by a community and which supports renewables development in Scotland”. We beat a very strong field of candidates including projects lead by Balfour Beattie and NPower. We should all be very proud that TREL voluntary directors have got national recognition for all the hard work they put into making Tilley such a success as a beacon not just for Tiree but for other communities.

YOUTH

This week we have had the final night of Ch@ Room. We had a Christmas themed evening with games and Christmas challenges. We also served tasty turkey and cranberry toasties! I managed to secure a much appreciated grant of £300 from ACHA. The young people also raised £60 at the craft fair. This money will be used for new equipment for the Ch@ Room. Ch@ Room will commence again in January 2011. Next Wednesday (8th) is the final night of Youth Club. The youth Club is having a snowman drive and a fantastic Raffle. All funds raised are for youth Club! Show your support by coming along and joining in the fun. For more information or to volunteer for any of the youth groups on the island don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at sophie@tireetrust.org.uk

TIREE ARRAY

At the time of writing the Tiree Array developers, Scottish Power Renewables, were due on Tiree for a meeting with the Trust. We will update you on anything new we have learned from that meeting. Also at the time of writing, Lloyd Gudgeon was due to attend a meeting in Glasgow with the Scottish Government, The Crown Estate, Argyll & Bute Council and SPR, to formally demand that the Tiree Community becomes part of the process which directs the design of the Array and considers whether or not it should receive permission to go ahead. We will update you on the outcomes of that meeting. Meanwhile on Tiree, the Forum continues to put together a picture of the likely impact of the Array, should it go ahead. To help with this, Sam Bouchnak has joined the team. He will be concentrating on providing the Forum with support in the run up to a public presentation in February. There is another survey out there trying to get your opinions on what the Array might mean for us. This survey is being run by Argyll Renewable Communities, which is made up of the communities of Tiree, Islay and Kintyre, all of which are facing potentially close offshore windfarms. The survey can be found at
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ARC_windfarm_impacts
and you can find more details on a separate article in this paper. We want to collect as many responses as possible so that when we talk to government about our concerns we can not be accused of representing only a small number of local people or specialist interests. Please do take 10 minutes to fill out the questionnaire. Paper versions are available from the office.

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.

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