Tag Archives: energy

Tilley highlighted in Co-operative’s marketing

The Renewable Energy & Asset Finance Department of The Co-operative Bank sent a photographer to Tiree recently for a photoshoot for some forthcoming marketing products promoting some highlights of the work The Co-operative does to protect the environment. They identified ‘Tilley’ as a project which they wish to include as an example of a successful community renewables story, and in particular, one that is ahead of the game in terms of community renewable projects. The photo on the left shows, from left to right, Sophie Isaacson, Pat Campbell, Mark Armstrong, Trudy MacKenzie, Andy & Anya Wright, Hannah & Blythe Wright, Ann Kirby, Jim Michie, and Iain MacDonald

Argyll Array Project Update #37 – October 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoPublic Information Day (PID)

A final reminder that this year’s Public Information Day will be held on Tuesday 30th October between 2.00 pm and 7.00 pm in An Talla, Crossapol. Refreshments will be available throughout the day.

What’s a decommissioning plan?

Decommissioning is the term for the removal of the wind farm from the site at the end of its life. The lease of the seabed from the Crown Estate will be for 50 years. The turbines will have an anticipated life of 20-25 years. The original turbines may therefore be replaced after 20-25 years, enabling the wind farm to be productive for the whole life of the lease. However, whenever the productive life of the wind farm, or any part of it, ends it will be removed from the site. That removal will be a massive operation in itself. It will be carried out under the requirements of the Energy Act 2004 and in accordance with the best practice at that time. The current best practice requires all elements of the windfarm having visual, sea-use or environmental impacts to be removed. The process is essentially the construction process in reverse. It’s also expected to take a similar period of time and have similar environmental impacts as the original construction phase.

The Environmental Statement (ES), which will be such an important part of the consenting and licensing process, will give equal weight to the effects of the decommissioning of the wind farm as it will to its building and operation. The final design of the wind farm will therefore take account of the need for decommissioning. The Energy Act requires the Secretary of State to approve the project’s decommissioning plan before construction starts. The plan cannot be finalized until after engineering design for the wind farm has been completed and this is confirmed after the licensing and consenting process.

Finally, the decommissioning will take place relatively far in the future and be a very expensive process. Therefore, a financial security arrangement, funded by SPR, will be agreed with the regulators before construction begins. This will guarantee that the decommissioning plan can be funded and carried out when the time comes.

Future updates

· Progress with the Tiree Community Partnership Fund

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 983753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

No Tiree Array

Will this be the scale of things to come if Tiree Array is consented?

turbinesVisual 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.

Tilley turbine comparison

7 MW Turbine alongside Tilley

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.jacket_foundation 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

Community Notice From Tiree Trust And SPR

Tiree Trust LogoScottish Power Renewables logo

SPR has recently given a commitment to establish a Community Partnership Fund and to discuss with the community how to set it up. It has always been a priority for Tiree Community Development Trust to find out, on behalf of the community, more about what this could be if the proposed Array went ahead.

At the first public meeting held by SPR on Tiree it was announced that if the proposed wind farm development went ahead there would be financial benefit for the local community.

The first meeting between Tiree Trust and SPR to discuss the proposed Community Partnership Fund (CPF) took place on 24th January 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the process for agreement of the Fund. Points discussed, which will also be on the agenda for future meetings, were:

  • How the meetings should be recorded and reported and how the community should be consulted.
  • The role of Argyll and Bute Council.
  • What the make up of the negotiating body planning the process should be.
  • How the final Fund amount per year should be calculated.
  • What the make up of the future body which would administer and distribute the Fund should be.
  • How funding for skills/education/training could be used in 2012-13.
  • Negotiation stages and timetables for the process.

It was agreed that the above points would be on the agenda for the first stage of the discussions. The second stage would focus on what the Fund would be used for and what its amount would be. Each stage would end with a community consultation in the form of either an open afternoon or an evening public meeting.

There will be further meetings on 14th February and 21st February with the community consultation on Stage 1 soon after. Stage 2 will then commence immediately, with the object of final approval by the community, which would be Stage 3, around April 2012.

This is a joint update from the Trust and SPR. It was agreed at the meeting that these updates should be joint and not be included in the regular SPR updates. Full minutes of the CPF meetings will be available to the public at the end of each Stage of negotiations.

Tiree Community Development Trust is neither for nor against the proposed wind farm development and this process is a continuation of the fact finding mandate given by the community at public meetings in 2009/10. If anyone has any queries regarding the above please contact Donnie Campbell or the Tiree Trust office.

Argyll Array Project Update 21 – December 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logo

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 #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 Number 14 – Spetember 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logo

Public Information Day comments


I’ve responded below to more of the points made at the Public Information Day held in late June. I’ll cover the remaining points in the next update.


Socio-Economics


Desire for a guarantee on jobs from the project (THREE COMMENTS)

This is a complex issue. Firstly, the building of the wind farm would not significantly impact on Tiree as far as jobs are concerned. The turbines parts (towers, blades and generators) would be loaded on to very specialized installation vessels, at purpose built port facilities like those in Belfast. These vessels would then sail directly to the site and install the turbines. The wind farm could, however, provide around 100 jobs once it is built and operating and these could potentially be in Tiree.


These jobs would be for the Operations and Maintenance part of the project. Such jobs involve routine servicing of the turbines, repairing turbine breakdowns, monitoring the power output and ensuring that all technicians and materials are able to get to the turbines.


Because the project is in its early planning stages, it has not yet been decided if the Operations and Maintenance base (usually just called the O&M base) from which technicians travel daily to the wind farm would be best based onshore in Tiree or wholly/partly offshore within the wind farm site itself. If it was wholly offshore, with staff on a special platform or on a mother-ship permanently stationed at sea, there would be little impact on jobs for Tiree. If it was onshore, though, the base would require a safe harbour in Gott Bay and the O&M staff and their families would live in Tiree. The only place we foresee such a harbour being is Tiree. The only place in Tiree suitable for the harbour would be Gott Bay.


I know how frustrating it is that a decision has yet to be made about the O&M base, because so much of the benefit people see from the project would come from the base being in Tiree. That’s why planning for O&M is being looked at by the company more closely over the coming months, much earlier than it is for other offshore projects. (The whole matter of what Tiree actually wants from the Operations and Maintenance part of the project is the topic of the Scenario Planning consultation being carried out by consultants right now on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council and others. An open consultation on this topic is planned for early October in Tiree. This will not be an SPR event but I would encourage all to go along to it and get their voices heard. Look out for the notices in the next couple An Tirisdeachs)


Visual impact


Desire for photomontages of night-time views (TWO COMMENTS)


Tiree, like all rural areas, doesn’t experience ‘light pollution’, which is the orange/ yellow glow in the sky caused by city street lighting and other lights. This means that rural skies are much darker than city skies and give much better views of the stars.


There were two requests for photomontages that would show any ‘light pollution’ from the lights on the turbines. It’s useful here to explain what sort of lights would be on the turbines.


By no means all the turbines would have warning lights on them. Only one turbine every 4km on the perimeter of the wind farm would have an aviation light and a maritime navigation light. Tilley, the Tiree Community Turbine, has aviation light on the top and Gott Bay pier has a maritime navigation light on the pier head. Every turbine in the wind farm would also have an identification light, to illuminate the turbine number, in the event that a vessel in distress inside the wind farm at night needs to identify its location. Identification lights are no bigger than needed for that purpose and are only visible close to each turbine.


The Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment carried out for Argyll Array will discuss any night time lighting issues.


Character of island


Desire to leave the island if the project goes ahead


This was said by one person who presumably had the option of leaving Tiree if they chose. They were in the fortunate position of having the resources and freedom from commitments to exercise that choice.


For many families, however, Tiree is their home and the option to leave just does not arise. For them, any opportunity for improvement in their standard of living has to present itself on Tiree and the Argyll Array is possibly such an opportunity.


Equally, some individuals are forced to leave Tiree for work and opportunity and the option to stay does not arise for them. The project also offers them the possibility of being able to return home, or never having to leave in the first place.

Consultation

Desire for more information on the converter station

The converter station is an installation that would convert the generated power from AC to DC for transmission to the national grid at Cruachan. Like the O&M base, this could possibly be located offshore in the wind farm or onshore on Tiree.

A study is presently being carried out by consultants to determine the options for the cable route to take power from the windfarm to the national grid. This study will also review options for the converter station. The most feasible options will be presented at Public Information Days before the end of the year.

An Environmental Impact Assessment will be carried out on the proposed route and converter station location, and details of the assessment will be given in the planning application.

Other

Scepticism about the ability of the project to cope with weather and sea conditions

There is no doubt that the weather and sea conditions in the wind farm site can be extreme. It is also the case that no offshore wind farm has yet been built and operated in these conditions. This, however, is part of the big human and technical challenge the project presents. New technology and ways of working will have to be developed.

Looking back at history, it took Alan Stevenson many years to solve the problems and develope the technology to enable Skerryvore to be built and to stand for the last 150 years and more. The same will need to be done again. We can never defeat the power of the sea but we most certainly can build and work in a way which means we’re not defeated by it.

Wind Farm Visit

The visit to a wind farm in the Irish Sea, which was postponed earlier in the summer has now been provisionally re-arranged for September 26th-28th. This would entail leaving Tiree on Monday 26th by ‘plane, visiting the wind farm near Barrow in Cumbria on the Tuesday, returning to Tiree by ‘plane on Wednesday 28th.

All travel and subsistence will be paid by SPR. Four participants are being selected in association with the Tiree Trust but one more place remains for a general member of the community. I have one nomination from earlier in the summer and this is a final call for further expressions of interest. Please let me know, through the usual means, if you are interested in going on what will be a very informative visit.

Also, please speak to me if you would like more details, before the closing date of Wednesday 7th September.

Exhibition in Rural Centre

The exhibition of materials from the Public Information Day in June which was housed in the Auction Ring for the summer has now closed. I’ll publish an analysis of the attendance and comments in due course. Meanwhile, thank you to all who attended and to the Rural Centre for their hosting of the exhibition.

Future update

  • More responses to comments made at the Public Information Day
  • Information on upcoming Careers 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

Meeting fails to allay fears

Tiree Array (artists impression)

A two hour long meeting between Scottish Government officials and members of the community in An Talla this week failed to allay fears of possible “devastating on-shore work” on Tiree during the off-shore windfarm project.

Three officials from Marine Scotland, a Government body, explained to the meeting the steps leading up to the planning and licensing stages. Mr Phil Gilmour revealed that the off-shore and the on-shore parts of the plan will be split when it comes to the applications. When asked about the possibility of the massive electricity sub-station being sited on the island instead of out at sea, which is a more expensive option, he said that only the off-shore scenario was in his remit, and planning consent would have to be granted by Argyll council.

In reply to questions from members of the community at the meeting he said that even if the council planning committee refused the application it could be passed to the Scottish Government who could overrule the decision. He said:
“The decision could be overturned by the appropriate Minister.”
Planning permission for a possible converter and other onshore operation and maintenance facilities would only come up AFTER the off-shore licence had been granted. When asked if he thought it likely that planning permission would, thereafter, be refused by the council Mr Gilmour repeated a lengthy explanation of how both parts of the work were separate.

Mr Mark Christie, one of the Marine Scotland team, said that there would be “significant onshore impact” on Tiree from the windfarm project. Mr Gilmour said that the legal procedures involved in the process leading up to off shore wind farms were still evolving and that he and his team were ahead of other countries and that he had been abroad to address European countries on the Scottish model.

Many people left the meeting at its close expressing disappointment. They said they had learned nothing new and felt that they had been given only verbal promises that proper consultation between SPR and the community would be honoured in future. Ex-councillor Ian Gillies said:
“I am more fearful now than I was at the beginning of the meeting for a transparent approach by SPR.”
Another local resident said:
“In my opinion, what we experienced tonight was a ‘snow job’. What we are facing is months if not years of devastating industrialisation of our island and nobody will tell us what exactly to expect.”

Mr Robert Trythall, who spearheads the No-Tiree-Array campaign against the siting of the proposed wind farm asked why the proposed development was named Argyll Array, instead of Tiree Array, which would be more meaningful and alert people from elsewhere to the possible destruction of such a beautiful island. Mr Gilmour said it was up to Scottish Power to name their own project, and he agreed to ask if the name could be changed, but gave the impression it would be a waste of time.

A public information day is being held by Scottish Power Renewables in An Talla on Monday, July 28, at which officials of the power company are expected to produce visuals of the impact of the windfarm on the sea and landscapes of Tiree.

Regarding The Array

letters to editor

I am writing this to express my concern at the way in which the proposed Tiree Array is being forced through the consenting process. It alarms me that Scottish Power Renewables want to get consent to develop their project before they actually release the details of what they are planning. I find it hard to believe that they have got as far as they have with their research and planning without being able to give us the least bit of information on what they are going to do. The “Argyll Array Project Update No8-May 2011” only reinforces the point that they are intent in keeping us in the dark until they get consent.

I find it strange that the government would even consider giving them consent without having detailed plans from them. How can individuals, group etc make any sort of informed decision without even the most basic facts. I have spoken to a lot of people who are undecided about the project and will make their minds up when they have some more facts. The harsh reality is that there will be no facts until Scottish Power Renewables have got their consent and by that time your views will count for nada. The time to make your mind up is now before it is too late, and in light of the fact that they are not disclosing any information you have to say no. It is up to us to force the hand of this huge multinational company by saying no now and force them to come clean as to what they have got planned.

When you look at the groups that make up the master planning process you have to question some of the motives and who is actually going to be there to look after the interests of Tiree and surrounding areas. It is obvious how SPR want the planning to go, least amount of cost and hassle to them. Highlands and Islands Enterprise have poured millions and millions of pounds into the turbine factory in Campbelltown. Argyll and Bute council have invested a reported £12 million into Campelltown harbour to make the turbine factory. The Crown Estates are the body that will be taking the money for effectively renting out the sea bed to the developer and are set to make millions from wind farms.

Scottish Natural Heritage have indicated in a document on offshore wind farms that they believe wind farms should be at least 35km offshore to reduce the visual impact on Scotland’s pristine seascapes, however SPR and other developers have ignored this advise and carry on regardless. So that leaves the Trust to represent the views of the people of Tiree. No disrespect to the Trust but in light of the bodies they are up against their voice will be lost at the negotiating table.

I would be very grateful if SPR could clarify what the possible implications of the Argyll Array would be on public services. In earlier scoping documents they stated that they did not intend to invest any money in schools, medical facilities or roads on Tiree as this was the responsibilty of local government. So would it be fair to assume therefore that the Array will have a negitive effect on public services?

It has also been reported that if SPR were forced into paying a levy on generated power this money would by default be paid to Argyll and Bute council. How much of this money would filter its way down to public services on Tiree and how much get swallowed up by A+B’s budget deficit? It would be very helpful if SPR could clear up this issue before any more rumours start.

Now is the time to say no. If we wait for any clear facts and information from SPR until we take a stance it will be far too late. Until they have set promises in stone we as a community have to say no. If the Array is going to go ahead we can only maximise any compensation by fighting. Remember there is a big difference between compensation and benefit and until SPR can prove otherwise this development is not going to bring any benefits to the island.

Adam Milne, Crossapol, Tiree


Hannah Brimelow’s recent letter about the Tiree Array offers wise advice from someone who knows at first hand how things work in the world of high finance and giant corporations.

As she points out, while the island is mulling over promises from Iberdrola, there are deals being done and consents being pursued. Once consent is granted, there will be no practical way to stop the developers from ditching those promises and riding roughshod over the island’s wishes.

So the message from Hannah is that there is effectively only one way for Tiree to have any control or influence over what will happen to it, and that is by coming out in opposition to the granting of consent. Without that opposition the island has no worthwhile authority to make demands.

Whether for or against the Array, I expect most of us would want to force Iberdrola to put the island’s best interests up there alongside its own corporate profit. If we think that they are doing that already, I fear we may be mistaken.

Peter Isdell-Carpenter, Milton.


Dear ma’am
The No Tiree Array (NTA ) Group is formalising its membership, and has drawn up its Constitution. This is essential to take NTA forward as a consultee within the Licensing and Consenting Process. For full details go to www.no-tiree-array.org.uk , then click on “Constitution” in the main Menu.

The membership donation is £1.00 . To make this donation via the website simply click on the ” Paypal Donation ” button, and follow the instructions. You do not require a PayPal account to process this payment.

For those without internet access and/or would prefer to make a donation by cheque then please do so by making your cheque payable to:- No Tiree Array and send it to me at the address below.

NTA has a provision in the Constitution for “sympathisers ” who for all sort of reasons may not wish to become a member but wish to register their support. NTA requests that where there is more than one potential member in the same household, that they make separate donations. That way NTA will be able to keep an accurate membership list.

NTA has, to date, been funded by its founding core members. Your donations will , amongst other initiatives,allow NTA to produce a quarterly newsletter, and upgrade its website. We look forward to your support of NTA .

Yours faithfully, Robert Trythall , Aird, Cornaigmore

ARGYLL ARRAY PROJECT UPDATE No 8 – May 2011

Scottish Power Renewables logo

Masterplanning

The application to Marine Scotland from ScottishPower Renewables for planning permission for the Argyll Array will deal with the plans for the offshore infrastructure and the grid connection to Dalmally. (See Update No 7) However, there are four possible ways the project could be operated and maintained. Each of these scenarios would have different implications (positive and negative) for Tiree.

As many have said over the last year or so, there’s a need to fully identify and plan for these implications. Such planning would help Tiree to fully understand the full implications of the Argyll Array. Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Government also need to understand the possible implications because these may have effects on public services like education, health, transport and water. The wind farm, if consented, won’t be fully operational until about 2020.

Moreover, ScottishPower Renewables would not be able to confirm which operations and maintenance scenario is viable for the project until after any consent decision. However, it is recognised that planning for the various possible scenarios needs to start now. A number of organisations, including the Tiree Community Development Trust and ScottishPower Renewables, have therefore got together to begin this process, called ‘Masterplanning’.

A Steering Group has been formed to oversee and guide the process, which will be implemented by consultants working under contract to Argyll and Bute Council. These consultants will be required to consult closely with everyone on Tiree who’s got a stake in the development in order to gather views on the full range of possible impacts. It is anticipated that the consultants will be appointed at the end of June, and they will be expected to start work on the study immediately. The Steering Group is made up of: Argyll and Bute Council, Tiree Community Development Trust, ScottishPower Renewables, Marine Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Crown Estate, Scottish Natural Heritage and CMAL. (CMAL is Caledonian Maritime Assets, the company which owns the vessels, piers and ports used by CalMac.)

Wind farm Visit

We’ve agreed to a request by Tiree Development Trust to postpone this month’s planned visit to North West England to view offshore wind farms in the Irish Sea. This trip will now take place after the summer.

Thank you to all the people who responded to my invitation to express an interest in going on the trip. Those people will be contacted again over the summer, as plans for the trip are finalised. Full details of the visit itself will be in An Tirisdeach after our return.

Careers Workshop

One of the most frequent points of discussion about the project is the possible impact on job prospects were the Argyll Array to be given planning permission and then proceed to construction and operation. There are obviously no hard and fast proposals in place yet; indeed the Masterplanning process is only just beginning. However, to give some general information on this subject, we will be holding a Careers Workshop on Tiree immediately after the summer holiday.

It will be useful for a wide range of people – those at the very start of career planning, but also those at the start of their working lives and those in mid career. It will hopefully be of interest to people planning future study, people planning to stay on Tiree to work or those hoping to return home.

It will outline the kinds of skills needed for those involved in building and running a large offshore wind farm. We hope to be able to discuss the whole range of skills-professional, technical, administrative, trade and manual. We also hope to put this in the context of the approximate time-scales for the development of the project if it goes ahead. We will not, however, be able to indicate how many specific jobs will be created on Tiree in the event of the project going ahead, as this is not yet known.

The purpose of the event is to give a general overview of career opportunities in offshore wind and to enable those looking to the future to be able to include offshore wind farm work in their options. This is intended to be the first of a series of information events in Tiree about offshore wind farms in general and the rest will get underway in the autumn of this year. Meanwhile details of the date and venue of the Careers event will be in one of the summer Updates.

Future updates

· More on the Masterplanning process

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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