It’s formal name is the Argyll Array but so successful has the determined No Tiree Array campaign been to stop the desperately out of scale ‘offshore’ wind farm proposed for the Isle of Tiree that few know the plan as anything else.
This is also useful as the name now re4minds everyone where this blight is aimed.
It is targeted on the flat little sunshine Isle of Tiree, the weather station familiar to all mariners in Atlantic waters and the possessor both of the stunning stone built dock and first shore station and construction base at Hynish and the most beautiful lighthouse in the world it built, Alan Stevenson’s Skerryvore. At around 48 meters the Skerryvore is the tallest light in the UK.
Sustained pressure from ‘No Tiree Array’ campaign, focused, well organised and deeply researched, has persistently made it difficult for this proposal to progress as fast as intended.
Scottish Power Renewables has today (2nd April 2012) announced a new delay in its planning application for the array.
This starts only 3 miles offshore, wraps itself around the south and west coasts of the island, surrounds the Skerryvore and features turbines 200 meters high. We have estimated its planned sea area is around 5 times the size of the island itself. The shore base to receive the power generated offshore would itself be massive.
The delay now notified is until the second half of 2014. If then consented, the array would not come on line until 2020.
If it were to be consented, Scottish Power Renewables has, under its lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners, a further 12 months option after that to commit to developing the array.
The No Tiree Array campaign are taking no credit for this event and point to a range of factors they feel have played a part. Details are here on the campaign website – and it is worth noting that the site’s banner graphic is to scale.
They also identify what they feel is SPR’s real tactic, to ramp up the attractiveness of the plan to potential buyers and to sell it on to another developer – most likely to be foreign – with consent.
It is this single proposal that has come to illustrate the unbuttonedness of the Scottish Government’s unthought rush for wind.
This is a matter to which we will return shortly in an article arising from the Lorn Environmental Action Forum’s meeting and open discussion on the subject on 30th March.