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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
    Scott Smith – you give the impression that you have advance knowledge of future vessel deployments, but you get your dates, boats and places jumbled up. Any chance you could clarify these, please?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    A movable mezzanine deck that can’t be repaired unless the ship is dry docked?
    Sounds a bit like a car that needs dismantling before the oil can be changed. I wonder if someone specified some really exotic features on that mezzanine deck that no commercial ship owner in their right mind would dream up in their worst nightmare – but which the ship builder was only too happy to install, if the price was right?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The comments on this particular thread (at least, those that are relevant and not just trying to make everything political) can be read as reflecting wider concerns, and it’s now being reported in the newspapers that the seriously inadequate response of Calmac when the Hebridean Isles had to be withdrawn from service for repairs in the middle of the summer tourist season is going to be reviewed at a meeting in Islay in October, reportedly to be hosted by our MSP, to hold Calmac, Transport Scotland and the Government to account.
    Hopefully they’ll have the sense to leave the bullshit on the mainland.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The BBC Scottish News website today has a lengthy item about Calmac’s trials and tribulations with the good ship Isle of Arran.
    However, it’s really only padding out the previously known facts as deemed suitable for release by Calmac, and leaves the details of the boat’s problems unexplained. It’s basically a case of ‘bear with us, there’ll be jam tomorrow’.
    Someone needs to spell out to the Calmac management – and our Holyrood politicians – that if you drive an old banger that wouldn’t pass its MOT and gave the police some feeble excuse about not being able to find spare parts you’d wind up in court.
    The BBC could at least have asked Calmac to explain what sort of problems were making the boat more susceptible to weather cancellations – and as to the Finlaggan running about with a broken mezzanine deck and the Heb Isles crashing into Kennacraig pier, maybe the BBC consider these matters to be unworthy of reporting, let alone investigation.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Quoting me out of context, NCH – but it’s nice to know that you read my despicable comments in the Herald, as well as enthusiastically scrutinising this, your favourite despicable blog. Chin up, don’t let your enemies get you down.

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