Tag Archives: Scottish power renewables

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 #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 #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

Scottish Power Renewables logo

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 No.13 August 2011

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As I said in my last update, 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 could not be reproduced in the last update but a summary was presented of all the points made, under six headings. Generally, each point was made once by one person but where a point was made by more than one person this was indicated. Below are responses to some of the points made.

The points detailed in the last update can’t be responded to all at once, but I will respond to them all over the next few updates.

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)

This was the point most frequently made on the comment sheets. It is also the point most consistently stated by those expressing a view on the proposed development. It’s much more frequently expressed to me than concerns regarding visual impact. As such, the company is addressing the issue as a matter of priority.

Work has already begun to identify the forms such benefit could take. The project is still at an early stage and the right balance has to be struck between being too general and being too specific. We are committed, however, to responsibly discussing potential benefits with the island as soon as they are identified and we would hope to be able to say more about this before the end of the year.

Desire for more detail on fishing impacts

This detail will be provided as a result of the Environmental Impact Assessment which will be carried out over the next 18 months. The potential impact on stocks of fish/shellfish, their spawning, their movements and their habitat, as well as access to the wind farm for fishing boats will all be a major part of the Environmental Statement that will be submitted as part of the planning application to Marine Scotland.

These impacts will also be discussed with affected fishermen prior to the final application being lodged. The way all this will be carried out is detailed in pages 49-56 of the Request for a Scoping Opinion document which was submitted to Marine Scotland last year. A copy is available on the project website at