Comment posted RSPB Scotland ‘disappointed’ by Scottish Government consent to Shetland Viking wind farm by Robert Wakeham.
What interests me, as wind farms proliferate, is not just their impact on the view from inhabited areas and main roads but also the impact on your surroundings if you venture into more remote areas – the degree to which you see them not as the odd cluster in the landscape, rather as a horde of different clusters closing in on you from different directions – threatening to overwhelm the environment. Perhaps I’m getting paranoid.
Robert Wakeham also commented
- I think their scale is different – they really can dwarf a landscape in a way that I don’t perceive in ordinary roads or even power pylons, unless you can only see them from afar.
- The info was googled, and I can’t be sure it’s up-to-date, but apparently the Sullom Voe power plant originally built by BP is now run by an independent Finnish company; the gas turbines must be getting pretty old but for all I know they’ve already been replaced, and I assume (but stand to be corrected) that this is a cleaner source of electricity than the Lerwick diesel plant. Incidentally, the latter is the site of a giant experimental sodium-sulphur storage battery of a type that recently went on fire at a power station in Japan. It’s cleverly sited next to the diesel fuel storage tanks.
- There’s another factor in the Shetland electricity supply – a gas turbine plant that serves the Sullom Voe complex but also generates 43% of the grid electricity. With the ongoing Total gas processing plant development at Sullom, what’s the betting that the economics of running the Lerwick diesel power plant might become increasingly unattractive?
- A windfarm of this size can surely only function in combination with a new undersea power connector between Shetland and Scotland.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- McGrigor supports small scale hydro schemes but is concerned about lack of grid connectivity
If not ‘bitter’, then how about ‘negative’, ‘petty’, or just plain miserable?
Effective ways of providing energy for this country is an increasingly fraught subject, with government commitment to ‘green’ power leading to the perception that our politicians are swimming with sharks, and a proliferation of wind farms that are good for some sectors of the local economy but which are a major cause of price inflation.
And the Kintyre / Arran power emergency this spring served to highlight the fact that large scale wind generated electricity can be likened to a rough single malt – no use unless it’s blended with other spirit to make it palatable.
I live in hope that SSE’s Sound of Islay tidestream power project will prove more user-friendly – as are the hydro power plants described by Jamie McGrigor, as far as I can gather.
Here in mid Argyll we’re being shown the next windfarm proposal – 25 turbines for Electricite de France above Brenfield, which would form a backdrop to Ardrishaig, and would be so close to the recently unveiled proposals by E.ON for up to 24 turbines above Inverneill as to be semi-detached.
That’s up to 49MW plus up to 90MW, that would all presumably have to be ‘blended’ with power from elsewhere to make it digestible, and if anyone thought that ‘fast breeder’ only referred to a type of nuclear reactor, just look at the emerging cluster of wind farms south of Ardrishaig.
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
Doesn’t the SPTE have a remit to co-ordinate public transport provision here? – maybe I’m imagining it, or maybe they’re just pretending, or maybe they’re only really interested in Strathclyde bus services and the Glasgow subway (on the basis that only a tiny proportion of voters use the Gourock ferries, and politics is all)
- 31 hour shout Tobermory Lifeboat’s longest ever, ending in joint operation with Oban lifeboat
The Oban Times reported on 6th June on the MAIB report on a similar incident last July when a small container ship rammed the Isle of Bute, and apparently legal action is ongoing.
- Refloated cargo ship MV Fri Ocean escorted to Lynn of Lorne – and on into Oban
Not being a mariner, I wonder why – in this day and age of almost universal use of radar (and GPS?) for navigation – ships don’t seem to be equipped with a proximity alarm, a bloody great klaxon fit to waken the dead, that is triggered if the boat closes with an identifiable hazard.
It would have to be capable of deactivation in harbour areas and, eg, places like the Corran Narrows – but would surely be invaluable, especially at night.
Maybe it would be seen as a dangerous threat to the need for proper watch keeping.
- Auchindrain in crisis: facing paying off its two permanent staff
Considering how all the wind farm developers are so keen (and can clearly afford) to provide substantial funding to help local community ventures, this is surely a prime example of an exceptionally good local cause with national significance.
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