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The info was googled, and I can’t be …

Comment posted RSPB Scotland ‘disappointed’ by Scottish Government consent to Shetland Viking wind farm by Robert Wakeham.

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The update raises more questions:
    1 – if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck has ‘inbuilt’ problems, liability might lie with the designer / supplier, if CMAL / Calmac weren’t responsible for the detailed design.
    Maybe the non-performance of the mezzanine deck is the subject of contractual dispute – and, if so, arguably, the cost not only of fixing the fault but in lost revenue etc might not be to the public account.
    2 – It’s easy to assume that an ageing fleet is less reliable, but if adequate resources are committed to maintenance (at increasing cost) to a rigorous standard, and maybe with the accent on preventative maintenance, then surely there’s less inherent risk in running quite a large fleet of ferries with little or no standby resources. The increasingly hefty costs of adequate maintenance would which would have the (perhaps politically unwelcome) benefit of making investment in new replacement ships more attractive. Unless, perhaps, they’re discovered to have ‘lemons’ like the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    There was (maybe still is?) a small ‘flying squad of’ engineers from Campbeltown who travelled the world repairing faults in ships on the move, and I got the impression that it was good business.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    I wonder what caused the Hebridean Isles’ heavy contact with Kennacraig pier?
    The Isle of Arran got into trouble in West Loch Tarbert in 2010 when a mechanical failure led to just such a heavy contact with Kennacraig pier, but that was in February just days before she was due into drydock anyway.
    And there must be a question about to just what degree Calmac’s ship breakdowns are simply due to the age of their fleet, if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck was inoperable just when it was most needed.
  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    That ‘someone petty enough…’ is obviously alive, if not well.
  • Luss Estates opens unmanned 24 hour filling station in Luss car park – and Arrochar Mountain Rescue was first user
    A good move – and it joins the considerable number of 24-hour electric car charging points that have been ‘rolled out’ in Argyll in the last few years.

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