Tag Archives: Tiree Array

Argyll Array Project Update #28 – June 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoPublic Information Day 2012

The SPR Public Information Day for 2012 will be held in the autumn, on a date yet to be fixed. There will be a number of SPR staff on hand to give information on such issues as the implications of the new project timetable, the process of preparing our Environmental Statement and any other matters raised on the day.

There will also be direct consultation on the options for the location of the wind farm converter station. As announced earlier in the year, SPR is currently minded to site the converter station off-shore. However, after consultation with the Tiree Trust, it was decided to present more detailed implications of siting the facility either offshore or on-shore in Tiree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the island of each option and the information and discussion at the Public Information Day will assist in the making of the final decision. I hope to be able to provide details of the date, venue etc for the day in the near future.

Tiree RESET Fund

An important part of SPR’s liaison and engagement in Tiree has been to highlight the potential economic and social benefit to people in Tiree of employment in the renewable energy sector and to encourage access to the skills, education and training needed for such employment.

During SPR’s discussions earlier in the year with the Tiree Trust regarding the future establishment of a Community Partnership Fund, it was agreed that a separate fund for Renewable Energy Skills, Education and Training (RESET) be established immediately.

The intention is for this to be funded by SPR on an annual basis and available from this year until a final investment decision is made on the project in 2016/17 after which a more broadly based skills fund with a remit beyond Tiree, could operate. For 2012/13 a total of £10,000 will be made available from SPR to the fund for people who attended secondary school in Tiree and/or are currently living in Tiree.

Whilst it is anticipated that a number of recipients of funding will be those in the 16-22 age group attending university or college, it should be emphasised that the fund is not restricted to those candidates. The fund is designed to help people of all ages and of all aspirations to gain qualifications that will help in getting employment in the renewable energy sector. A formal invitation to candidates to apply for support from the fund will be published in the next edition of An Tirisdeach on July 6th, along with a copy of the Fund Rules which give full details of the fund objectives, eligibility and the criteria for the award of support.

Basking Shark surveys

As highlighted in a previous update, further work is required to better understand the potential effects of the Argyll Array wind farm on Basking Sharks and Great Northern Divers.

To help inform this work, Basking Shark surveys will be undertaken on behalf of SPR throughout July, August and September of this year, at sea in the wind farm site. These surveys will be similar to those that have been undertaken previously on the site and will feed into the project’s Environmental Statement.

Future updates

· What’s in an Environmental Statement?

· What’s a pre-application consultation?

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

NTA Update

NTA decided at the end of February to look at environmental issues associated with the proposed Tiree (Argyll) Array.

We reported in the 16th March edition of AnT on the unique Tiree status of the Great Northern Diver and Basking Shark. This highlighted their relationship to possible Special Protected Areas on Skerryvore Reef, and the context of the marine environment to the proposed Tiree Array. Such status issues may have crucial and fundamental implications in the consenting process for the proposed Tiree Array- NTA expanded upon these themes in the 30th March edition of AnT. Coincidentally in the same edition, SPR tucked away a discreet announcement of an 18 month delay in the project. SPR gave environmental reasons for this delay, coincidentally, with specific reference to the Great Northern Diver and Basking Sharks!

The latest JNCC report shows that a substantial basking shark HOT SPOT has been recognised overlapping the Great Northern Diver HOT SPOT within the entire proposed array area. This concentration of sharks is equal if not more important than the nationally important Gunna Sound hotspot.

VISUALISATIONS

scale of array turbines

Look closely. It gives you a very clear idea of how Skerryvore will be dwarfed if this Array goes ahead. Don’t forget Skerryvore will be surrounded by 180-300 Turbines. Scottish Power Renewables has PERSISTENTLY refused NTA’s requests to publish its June 2011 Visualisations and Montages. As recently as 14th May SPR still resisted when stating “It’s not consumer friendly to put such a large files on line”. Two days later however, SPR finally posted their visualizations on their website. (http://www.argyllarray.com/news-detail.asp?item=134). Just WHY it has taken SPR nearly a year to do so is a mystery. Perhaps they were worried at what your reaction might be, to what these monsters might look like close to Tiree’s shores? Maybe it is coincidental that NTA‘s detailed March 2012,submission to Marine Scotland criticised SPR ‘s Public Information and Consultation? NTA advised Marine Scotland that: – “contrary to previous undertakings SPR had not posted these June 2011 visualisations”. NTA’s submission to Marine Scotland also advised that SPR had not updated its Tiree (Argyll) Array website since July 2011. For those who follow the SPR website, there has, in the last few weeks, been a veritable deluge of updates!

RSPB

At the end of February, NTA contacted the RSPB to protest at a serious omission on the RSPB website. It contained no specific reference, or information, on the proposed Tiree (Argyll) Array. The omission was made more shocking by the RSPB’s site having specific references to other Scottish offshore wind farm sites. NTA is pleased to advise that the RSPB has now rectified their omission, and the RSPB site now has a dedicated Tiree (Argyll) Array page. To find out how they see things NOW, go to www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/casework/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-313798. Friends of the Earth, WWF & RSPB have been reported in the national press as recipients of funding from wind farm developers. NTA has been in contact with the chairpersons of each organization, asking for details of such funding.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: NTA’S NEXT CAMPAIGN MILESTONES:

Following SPR’s recent confirmation that they will study the possible local climate change caused by the inshore array, NTA will try to ascertain what methodology SPR intend to use to study these affects on our island’s weather, on our agriculture, on our environment and ultimately affects to our homes. NTA will confirm the current International, European & UK protection legislation, furnished upon the local areas proven to already meet and exceed the SPA/NIMA & MPA criteria, ie the areas that would be damaged or destroyed by the industrialisation of Skerryvore Reef and the entire area of the proposed Array.

Following the recent tourism boom at the UK’s incredible first ‘Dark Sky’ park in Galloway, NTA will further investigate Tiree’s posible ‘Dark Sky’ status and future loss of our beautiful night skies caused by the Tiree Array. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukscotland- south-scotland- 17988825

UNCERTAINTY

NTA has been criticized for making reference to the Nov 2011 CITI report that there would be investment uncertainty created in the light of the independence issue. SPR’s rivals Scottish and Southern (SSE), it must be said, has been open and forthright on this issue, by stating that it would honour existing investment in Scotland. SSE warned, however, that the uncertainty created by the 2014 referendum could jeopardize future investment plans. (http://scottishutilities.co.uk/news/78.htm). The renewable industry is subsidy driven and subsidy dependent. Subsidy policy is, currently, UK Government policy. But uncertainty of the subsidy policy of a possible independent Scotland is a matter of deep concern to any investor. Spain is in financial crisis. Only last week Ignacio Galán, Chairman of Scottish Power, and its parent Iberdrola, stated his commitment “to sell assets, cut investments and improve efficiency in an effort to reduce debt We are going to revise all of our investments that aren’t already allocated … focusing much more on our debt situation.” It would appear that debt reduction has become the number one priority for Iberdrola-Scottish Power.

Argyll Array Project Update #27 – May 2012

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Argyll Array Website

The project website www.argyllarray.com has now been updated to reflect the recent changes to the project timings. It also now carries electronic copies of all the updates published in An Tirisdeach and copies of the indicative photomontages used at the June 2011 Public Information Day.

New project timetable

A number of people have asked for clarification of the new timetable for the project. I’ve therefore listed the most important revised dates below. It should be noted that these dates are those that are currently planned and are subject to change, especially the milestones that are still some years in the future. Some aspects, such as the date of the planning decision are also outwith SPR’s control.

  • · 2012/13?research and preparation for the Environmental Statement
  • · Mid 2014? Environmental Statement issued for pre-application consultation
  • · Late 2014? planning application submitted
  • · 2015/16?planning decision
  • · 2016/17?final investment decision by SPR
  • · 2018?begin construction of electrical transmission infrastructure
  • · Early 2020?begin offshore turbine installation
  • · Late 2020?first electricity production from the wind farm Cable route
  • As I’ve said in previous updates, the electricity generated at the Argyll Array wind farm will connect to the National Grid at Dalmally. Over the last year, SPR have looked at a number of options for where to lay the cable, and have now revised this to two options

    • · one undersea to Mull, then crossing Mull through Loch Na Keal towards Salen, then running south east along the A849 towards Craignure
    • · the other passing undersea by the south of Mull. Both routes would land north of Oban and then follow the A85 to Dalmally.

    underground cable map

    These are the routes marked blue on the map. We won’t know which of these is preferred until we’ve undertaken the geophysical survey for the cable route. (The grey coloured routes are no longer options and the thin red border defines the area of search for the route.)

    All of the onshore cables will be underground, both on the mainland and if they cross Mull. We will undertake environmental and technical surveys of the routes in 2013, and following these will be able to define the exact proposed route of the cable.

    Future updates

    • · What’s in an Environmental Statement?
    • · What’s a pre?application consultation?
    • · Support for education and training in renewable energy in Tiree

    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

Wobbles and Delays In Tiree Turbine Plans

Tiree Array (artists impression)

The controversial proposals to erect giant turbines close to Tiree are hitting delays and uncertainties.

As we know, Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) now will not submit planning applications until the latter half of 2014. Tiree folk have to accept at face value the company’s explanation that this is due to ‘environmental issues’. However, there may be other factors at work to put brakes on SPR’s plans. Citi Group, the global investment bank, warned that investors would be cautious until after the Scottish referendum on independence. These ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTIES were more recently compounded by market worries about the exposure of Scottish Power and its parent company, Iberdrola, to Spanish banks. Spain’s economic crisis is mounting by the day. The issue of the withdrawal of Doosan, the Korean manufacturer who planned to develop offshore turbines in Scotland, was clarified by the company as the result of ‘…the overall economic conditions in Europe’. In other words, the wind energy industry is feeling the windchills of all the economic woes!

TRANSMISSION HEADACHES

A recent SPR update stated it was minded not to place a huge converter station on Tiree. Last week the Oban Times reported that SPR were exploring options via Mull. SPR reasoned that if offshore cabling risked being dredged up it could take months to fix it!

This happened near Tiree two years ago and it took five months to get power transmission back to normal. If this is such a real risk it makes one wonder why the Tiree Array is being proposed in the first place! SPR itself is not allowed to build or own the kind of high voltage equipment needed for these jobs. The transmission network will be constructed by an Offshore Transmission Operator (an OFTO) appointed by OFGEM the energy industry regulator. Had things been on track for Tiree, the OFTO tendering process for the Tiree Array should have been started by now. There is no sign yet of this happening.

The Moray Array made its first moves on this process last November, and it is hoping to submit for planning in 2012. It would appear to the layman, then, that transmission problems for SPR continue to mount and may be contributing to their own planning application delay. NTA has asked for clarification on this from OFGEM and SPR.

EUROPEAN UNION

The issue of the Tiree Array is now at the heart of Europe! NTA made a presentation to an EU symposium on offshore windfarm environmental issues, including the Blue Carbon question and potential destruction of wildlife, flagged up by NTA itself.

These also may have contributed to SPR’s problems. The meeting was attended by folk from the Scottish Government and Marine Scotland, the planning agency.

WHAT YOU WILL SEE IF THE ARRAY IS BUILT

Regrettably, the Tiree Trust has withdrawn from a previously agreed joint approach with NTA to this question of visuals and the selection of viewpoints on the island. Because of delays, SPR will pursue this issue next year. Last November Marine Scotland announced that it was ‘currently reviewing its licence manual and the consultants working on this will include visual impact.’ This shift on visual impact will replace and update current guidelines and when these are published NTA will consult with the various statutory bodies involved. We’ve told SPR we’ll be doing so. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE CONSULTATION PERIOD FOR THE ON-SHORE MAPPING SCENARIO CLOSES ON FRIDAY 27 AUGUST. ALSO BE AWARE THAT CONSTANT UPDATES ON ALL THESE ISSUES AND MORE ARE AVAILABLE ON NTA’S WEBSITE AT www.no-tiree-array.org.uk

Argyll Array Project Update 25 – Febrary 2012

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Community Partnership Fund

The second meeting with Tiree Community Development Trust to discuss this initiative took place on the 14th of February and the third meeting on 21st February.
A joint report on the meetings will appear in the next issue of An Tirisdeach.

Engineering Foundation Programme

A reminder that any young person interested in applying for a place on this year’s programme should 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.

Coastal Communities Fund

Further to the item in the last update, any group seeking funds from the Highlands and Islands part of the Fund can download a prospectus from www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regen eration/pdf/2085591.pdf.

Converter Station

Preliminary research has now been completed for SPR regarding the siting of the converter station at the wind-farm end of the grid export cable route to Dalmally. Most will recall that a short-list of possible export cable routes has already been drawn up, all of which involve either a route over Mull to Oban or a completely sub-sea route to Oban, with no cable coming on to either Coll or Tiree. At the moment, SPR is minded to apply for permission to site the converter station offshore within the wind farm and not onshore in Tiree. The current position is based on feedback received through last year’s Public Information Day (PID) on Tiree, and the Scenario Mapping consultations. However, SPR has agreed with Tiree Community Development Trust to provide more information on the onshore convertor station at this summer’s Public Information Day. There are some benefits in respect of jobs and infrastructure on Tiree which would occur irrespective of the strategy for the windfarm. The island’s views will be sought at the PID in the summer, and if there is strong feedback in favour then SPR would reconsider the possibility of an onshore location.

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 07881 983 753 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

Argyll Array Project Update #24 – February 2012

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Community Partnership Fund

The second meeting with Tiree Community Development Trust to discuss this initiative took place earlier this week, on the 14th of February. A joint report of the meeting will be in the next Tirisdeach, as the meeting was held too late for it to appear in this week’s newsletter.

Marine Traffic Survey

This survey, conducted from the top of Ceann a‘Mhara, ended on Thursday 16th February. A further survey will take place during the summer.

Engineering Foundation Programme

An advertisement for this exciting opportunity appears elsewhere in this week’s newsletter. If any young person from Tiree is 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.

Coastal Communities Fund

In the summer of 2011 the UK Government announced the setting up of the Coastal Communities Fund. This is a Fund made up of 50% of the revenues from the Crown Estates marine assets in the UK. The Crown Estates receive revenues from fish farms and off shore wind farms and a number of other sources of income. The Government has now published a Prospectus for the Fund, which invites expressions of interest for funding by the end of March, with those successful at that stage invited to submit full applications by September. This is not an SPR initiative and is completely separate from the Community Partnership Fund for Tiree which is being discussed currently. Tiree is, however, an obvious coastal community and any group interested in applying to the Highlands and Islands part of the Fund can download the prospectus from www.communities.gov.uk/documents/regeneration/pdf/2085591.pdf

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

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 #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

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