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Followers of the NTA website for the past …

Comment posted on Scottish Power Renewables announces another delay for proposed Tiree Array by NTA

Followers of the NTA website for the past few months,will have seen NTA flagging up the possibility of delay to the proposed Tiree Array .

This basis for this was emerging financial, technical, and political issues.

Environmental Issues pertaining to the Array have existed since its “ off “ in Feb 2009 .

There is no evidence to suggest the consenting regime, Marine Scotland, is asking any more of SPR than any other developer /array seeking similar consents.

Other developers would appear to have moved forward more speedily than SPR. Moray Off shore Renewables [whose original investors had walked away, prior to its adoption in March 2010, but now restructured with primarily Spanish ( REPSOL) and Portuguese ( EDP ) investors] , appears to be on schedule, maintaining their original target for a 2012 application. Moray’s Met Mast application has already undergone scoping.

SPR,have insisted the sole reason for this delay is to conform to the consenting regulations re environmental issues with particular regard to the Great Northern Diver (GND ). Is SPR suggesting they have discovered something ‘ ‘new’ , or the regulations have changed ? NTA has posed this question to Marine Scotland.

SPR‘s own bird survey in summer 2010, confirmed that the Great Northern Diver (GND) was present in “significant numbers “. In June 2011 SPR presented the GND as a formal “constraint “ at their Tiree Public Information Day. Therefore, a delay based on environmental, and specifically GND issues, is a puzzle.

Speculation re any connection in the delay to the independence referendum, also to be held in 2nd half 2014, can only remain as speculation. But, as there has been no agreement between UK and/or Scottish Government to creating legally binding guarantees of the subsidy mechanism, the capital markets will not finance developments like Tiree Array.

With this project delay, the earliest that SPR may gain consent, would be mid 2015. Thereafter, SPR/Iberdrola, under their lease with Crown Estates, have a further 12 month option, ( i.e. till mid 2016) to decide if they were going ahead with the Array’s development . By which time, it is reasonable to assume legally binding guarantees of the subsidy mechanism would be in place. If not then it will be reasonable to assume further delay.

Recent comments by NTA

  • Scottish Power Renewables puts Tiree/Argyll Array ‘on hold’ for 12 months
    SPR’s announcement lacks substantive information

    NTA has asked SPR the following :-

    To whom do you refer when you state “… work with others… “

    Will SPR publish the results of initial detailed environmental studies?

    Does this 12 month pause mean that in the event the project is re-activated that any consents submission will be delayed by 12 month and now not submittied till 4thQtr 2015

    NTA will advise as when if SPR respond

  • No Tiree Array nails latest Scottish Power Renewables manoeuvre on the Argyll Array
    So 1/3rd of the proposed Tiree Array site is under consideration to be withdrawn . Only 2/3rds to go !!

    In doing so SPR has conceded over-riding environmental issues with regard to the Tiree habitat of Basking Sharks and Great Northern Diver demand such consideration.

    But why make such a concession at this stage? Maybe to influence SG’s MPA review?

    The SNH basking shark survey is only in its 1st year.Its tracking records not only confirm SPR’s primary presentation, but also indicate a more widespread distribution of Basking Sharks within the area of the proposed Array.

    More impressively the result of the Great Northern Diver survey,shows a widespread distribution within the proposed Array area. If this has influenced SPR’s decision to consider reducing the overall size of the proposed Array,then logically it suggests SPR should consider abandoning the proposed Array in its entirety.

    SPR should publish the full details their surveys.

  • Divisions open on wind farms as VisitScotland takes a stand
    hey guys ..this page is about windfarms and their impact on how do we get from that to air fuel synthesis??

    we have the foll to consider

    (1) earlier this year a poll found a possible 20% drop in tourist income could be expected in windfarm impacted tourist areas

    (2) A&B Council economic plan seeks 50 % increase in A&B tourist income by 2015

    (3) Alex Salmond claims that wind farms “enhance our appeal as a country”

    (4) Visit Scotland now objects to a windfarm on the grounds that it ” could have a detrimental effect” on holidaymakers.

    Rational thought and analysis support(1)and(4)but what
    will achieve(2)with(3)obviously requiring treatment.

  • Developers target Scottish Government as easiest route to large windfarm consents
    The following articulation,in 2009, by a Scottish Developer confirms that Scotland has become a ” soft touch”
    From ESRC Seminar Series: WHERE NEXT FOR WIND?
    Seminar 4:”Ownership and Stakeholding in the Wind Power Debate” Cardiff University 17th February 2009 ( SPR announced in Feb 2009 its proposed Tiree (Argyll) Array)
    In questions, Mr Martin Mather (Scottish Power) noted that the involvement of the community may not actually make much difference in terms of the scale of deployment, but it was important to the communities that host wind projects, so should not be discounted. Furthermore, it does relate to planning, as much wind power is backed by international investors and if they feel they can get a better and more certain return on their investment in a country with a quicker regulatory system, they are more likely to invest there.
    This is a concise statement of intent from a Scottish Developer.
    Scottish Government (SG), meanwhile confirms the charade that has become of SG ‘consultation’ by excluding Argyll from SG/Marine Scotland’s ‘s current road show . This road-show is to offer ‘focus’on SG’s plans for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. Notwithstanding Argyll has 45% of SG’s current off-shore proposals SG excluded Argyll from its road- show.
    After a protest from NTA ,and possibly others, SG has relented with this advise to NTA:-
    Mr Lochhead has asked me to let you know that Marine Scotland will now be putting on an additional event in Oban, and will seek to publicise the event locally as widely as possible once the arrangements are
    John Davidson
    Private Secretary to Richard Lochhead MSP
    Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment
    This response is already being spun by SG that it “is committed to the widest possible consultation”
    Why did it require NTA to protest to SG in the first place?
  • Scottish Government information events on offshore wind, wave and tidal energy – none in Argyll
    This sums up Scottish Government’s “lack of joined up thinking” approach to public engagement on this nationally important issue.

    But a study of the reportage of the ” Inquiry into SG’s Renewable Targets” by SG’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee Inquiry, suggests that Argyll and Bute CC is singing from the developer’s song sheet.

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