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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wind farms - yet again

No matter how I try to avoid this topic, it keeps coming back around.

That might be due to the great fudge of 2003 when the SNP simultaneously promised support for and opposition to wind farms. 

Amec, or more accurately Amec and EDF, have now submitted a revised plan for a large scale windfarm in Lewis.

They have identified an area previously identified by the SNP Government as being suitable for windfarms in which to make their application, and given that it already has Government approval, what is going to stop the Lewis Wind Power scheme happening on a slightly smaller scale and in a slightly different area?

Remember the promises you had that the SNP would stop all wind farms in Lewis?  Which then became all large windfarms?  Which then became all large non-community owned wind farms?  All  lies and nonsense.

MWT, you are being hung out to dry the other side of the next election when you votes will be used to justify a large scale development.

With today's news that we are definitely in the running to be on the long leet for the short leet for the possible potential schemes for wave power, if anyone can develop an working model and want to site it in Lewis where there is no way of feeding the power that might be generated if the model actually works back into the grid, we are truly on the cusp of something.  But probably not what you might think.  But it will be the attractive cover for the bad news.

With the Ofgem review of pricing being flagged up as reversing the existing pricing structure - as demanded by the SNP - it looks most likely that we in the islands will start to become a focus for renewables. And that means that the past years have been wasted denying us an economic opportunity that is now going to be forced upon us in accordance with a long standing Government policy.

I will understand exactly why MWT will go through the roof - and so they should - but it is what I saw coming a long time back and in my own way hoped we could control and manage over a longer period of time.

My problem - and this is a BIG problem - is that there is going to be a gold rush for renewables that we as a community cannot adequately manage and that we are going to lose control over the policy and direction as a consequence.

The culprits for this sit in Bayhead, because of their opportunistic approach (and let's be honest, that's what most politicians do) but those we need to be wary of sit only slightly further away, masked by shell companies and the money motive.  And thanks to another, I think I have a big tale to tell, if I can just join the dots and get it past the lawyers.

Just remember the basics. Multi-nationals aren't doing it for any reason together than the profit.  Community benefit is the 'bribe' they need to pay.  And those who speak for them sometimes do so for wrong reasons for the community.  We can/could take control of the decisions and make it work for us if we can decide on a future based around renewables and then work out how to achieve it.

Blind refusal is not going to be a winning strategy.


Anonymous said...

so you now see the community offering was a bribe and big businessmen are in it for the monday So when you were a councillor and you and your crew were forcing this on us how was this any different??

Anonymous said...

If the Western Isles council goes the same way as Suffolk council - effectively sacking nearly everyone and outsourcing just about everything - how will this affect their relationship to the renewables opportunities here?

Anonymous said...

No one ever learns. 10 facts to ponder.
1. No community consultation. It’s all been done behind closed doors so far.
2. We are being pimped out to the French. Yes – EDF are the French Government.
3. No one has a grid connection do they? AMEC never did as I recall.
4. If a plan has been submitted why is it not on the Stornoway Wind Farm website?
5. Why is it not on the Comhairle planning list? How many days to comment?
6. MWT won’t give a monkeys as its not near Bragar. NIMBYs.
7. RSPB are too quiet for my liking. Planning something? Can they stop it or have they had a brown envelope?
8. For over a decade we have had the spin, but no delivery. Why is this any different?
9. I see on the news this morning that Kent has a good wind regime and their offshore scheme is up and running. Though only we had enough wind? It is close to the market and population unlike ours. Is that the difference?
10. Calum Ian MacIver and the Factor are involved. Thereby it will never happen.

oh, and where is Brian Wilson in all this?

Windy Miller said...

Angus, do the generating companies get any grant payments or financial incentives from the government for building find farms, or is their bounty purely from the return on the electricity generated?

Anonymous said...

"Blind refusal is not going to be a winning strategy"
Have you just come up with these words of wisdom? This has already been proved here and elsewhere.

"Bribe" is a strong word and not correct in this context (except if you are been cynical). Of course companies (be it AMEC, EDF or any community windfarm) are only interested if they make a profit, just the same as you or I only go out to work if we are happy with what we'll take back home.

If we were clever with the planning we would have a lot of control over this, particularly with regards to the inter-connector that is required. If we point blank refuse permission for any inter-connector into the islands without spare capacity on it. That way there there is always room for expansion and or community wind turbines, we could call it future proofing the connection and despite what companies like SSE say this extra capacity will be available for use. Why? Because it will bring in more profit if it is used.

If these developments become marine based (primarily to avoid dealing with a bunch of hard headed Hebrideans who can't agree on anything) we will have very little or no control over it going by what was written in the P&J a few weeks ago, because the Crown Estate answers to very few.

Anonymous said...

We don't have the money or the know how to manage anything more than the splintered Community 3 tower efforts we call projects.
EDF will not accept anything less than a guaranteed date for connection this may be at the price of Community Benifit.
Paint it anyway you like we will be exploited. We can only hope to limit the exploitation.

your conscience said...

examine your conscience. re-read this post and then say you hold the moral high ground (or not) because this post does not reflect your view as an SNP cllr

mrs macbeth said...

out out damned spot!!!
you cannae hide from your SNP 'for windfarm' approach so beware your wording

Anonymous said...

How many turbines?

Can the island cope with these large construction projects. I believe already a writ is out re non-payment by the main contractor for the schools work.

Anonymous said...


To save electric... sorry couldn't resist!

Anonymous said...

Coming to the streets of Stornoway and Lewis pretty soon...

Anonymous said...

Ahhh 1.19pm re- picture - thats why they wany one BIG ferry !!