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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eishken windfarm

An anonymous wellwisher advises me that the windfarm at Eishken has been sold; lock, stock and wind tower to EDF (Électricité de France).

Update: I'm told the E in EDF is wrong.  I must be being stupid, but ???????

I'm told that the missives are being concluded currently, and that they will be signed off shortly with transfer expected on 1 August.

If true, given the vast sums required to develop windpower, this shouldn't come as any surprise as the risk/reward trade off must be very high for any individual.  Especially with the huge probable costs and legal issues involved in constructing any power cables from wind farm to grid connection.

The EDF website makes it's wind strategy very clear, and with the pattern of consents seemingly being more valuable than the completed windfarms, it is likely that the buyers need renewables to offset their other (nuclear and conventional) emissions.

The nature of this sort of transaction is that there are few if any footprints until the deed is done, but my delving shows that there have been some changes in the structure of Beinn Mhor Power and associated companies recently; which leads me to believe that something is in the offing.

Beinn Mhor Power has very recently appointed Ms Serena Oppenheim as a director, and issued some more shares (I haven't got round to finding out about these changes yet).  In the last month, Eishken Nominees Ltd has replaced the Nominee Shareholders at McLay Murray & Spens with Nick Oppenheim, Serena Oppenheim and Peter Smith - who I believe is the Estate Manager - and moved the Registered Office to Eishken.  All of which is indicative of some active plans being brought forward.

Update: Crionaig Power Ltd had 3 x Miss Oppenheim appointed as directors in February along with Marcus Trenick QC - of windpower fame.  Loch Sealg Power Ltd was incorporated in October 2010 and is dormant.

I'm sure there is still another company, whose name escapes me at the moment.

Of course, there could be another explanation, but my source is utterly convinced and convincing that a sale is to proceed, so only time will tell.  And where does this leave the Community Trust?

All will become clear very shortly, I suspect.


Reproducing this article is forbidden, without my permission and then only if your fully attribute the source.  Newspapers on Francis Street, Stornoway, should remember Johann Hari before plagiarising me.


Anonymous said...

You should check with your anon well-wisher if you have got the correct info as to the identity of the alleged buyer.
A mistake in the letters of abbreviation of the company involved make a big difference.
Change the " E " for another letter and you get a completely different company.

Anonymous said...

Seems along time ago since the communities of North and South Lochs were sold this pup by the MWT Trustees, McDowell (of course he is in every thing) MacKay and Maciver. They were almost crying out the merits of the great saviour of South East Lewis who promised them and to pass it on to the plebs please guys, financial fortune for the area.

They were taken in by a Hedgefund Manager - or share gambler as they are better known. LOL after all their sycophantic help he has cut and run taking his quick profits on the deal.

Certain Councillors and or families, and we all know who they are, wined and dined by Oppenheim even a bit of 'hunthen and fishhen' supplied conned by the promises and promotions.

Interconnector - straight passed Mackay's house in Gravir to a Convertor Station towering over the township. Locals extremely grateful.

Jobs for locals? umm
Community Benefit? umm
Re or de population of Lochs? umm
Cash opportunity for a few ah more positive chance here.

Yes it has yet to be seen what happens but like the Pairc Estate fiasco I very much suspect that the usual individuals whose vested interest necessitates their involvement in every thing will be left yet again with egg on their faces.

Dr Evadne said...

Crionaig Power was another company associated with Mr Oppenheim. Not sure if this was solely for the so called community turbines or the extra 5 or 6 turbines that are up for planning permission. Add a few more and the whole windfarm will total 58 which was the original intention. I had a shoofty at the Oppenheim empire a few weeks ago and spotted that things were changing/being re-arranged. I then forgot about it because the peas were boiling over or the hair needed back combing.

Dr Evadne said...

Loch Sealg Power: all sorts of things can get lost in this mess:

Anonymous said...

Lewis Wind Power trying to secure the capacity required to underwrite the cable?

Anonymous said...

A local authority archaeologist took tea with An Oppenheim in 2010 ... community benefit ...ummm

Anonymous said... - a real eyeopener on people behind wind power in W Isles, thanks to B... Wilson!
"The Lewis project began immediately Brian Wilson became energy minister in 2001. In the 1980s, he had campaigned for small-scale renewables in the Hebrides – winning the energy portfolio in a changed political climate no doubt seemed a golden opportunity to put his ideas into action. However, their scale had grown way beyond the island’s needs.
As Wilson explained: ‘We are looking at something much more ambitious than what was regarded as
. . . slightly eccentric . . . these 30 years ago’. He added that, within weeks of his taking office, ‘a highpowered
group of people assembled in Lewis to focus on how renewable energy could be taken forward
in the Western Isles and adjacent areas. My own recently-acquired position as energy minister had helped
to get some of these people to Lewis’.3 He underlined that it was ‘a clear expectation of government that the final proposals will extend to the north and west of Scotland, including the islands’.
In the event, AMEC and British Energy joined up for a major project on Stornoway Trust land, later extended to the Barvas and Galson Estates, Scottish and Southern, brought in to handle grid issues, got the Pairc Estate and Nick Oppenheim proposed a scheme for his Eisgen estate.
Getting power out was always going to be a problem. Wilson’s original proposal (since revived by
AMEC, where he is now a non-executive director of its nuclear division) was a sub-sea interconnector down the west coast, either to British Energy’s nuclear facility in Ayrshire or to BNFL’s in Wales.
Others have looked to reinforcing existing links such as the controversial Beauly-Denny upgrade".

Anonymous said...

Angus - did you not back Mr Oppenheimer at the public inquiry. Perhaps then just give your chum a call and get the facts. Or have you fallen out of favour with him too?

Angus said...

Anon 3:54.

No I did not, as I am sure Dr Finlay will be happy to confirm.

I supported the Committee decision, and if you care to check my position on the connection between Eishken and the rest of the world, you will better understand the position.

Anonymous said...

According to Sunday Herald wave project on Westside gone tits-up now too. Are renewables ever going to really get going on the islands? I'd suggest time may have run out for an interconnector and the nepatistic arguing has cost us the chance.

Anonymous said...

The E in EDF is wrong because it is GDF Suez which is supposedly buying the project.
Whether you are stupid or misinformed only you can make that judgement.

Anonymous said...

Why stupid?? One person brings the news to the stupids and asks for clarity.....
Pot and kettle spring to mind

Anonymous said...

Neither wind nor wave farms are the answer. The tide is a constant and predictable almost to the minute and the height 'way 'way into the future. That is where the pound notes should be invested

Anonymous said...


Rather blunt/crude don't you think - or do you think, an error on Angus's part but a savage attack on your part.

What you forget is that this blog serves to let us know in the community that that our supposed masters either political or economic would rather we do not know.

The fact is that Oppenheim has conned the community, got his permissions - and don't forget he obtained these piece meal from a willing and gullable council and now is about to flog them off at great profit TO HIMSELF.

A ready made 50+ turbine wind farm for GDF Suez an to enable them to trade off their fossil fuel footprint in Europe for a worthless but necessary renewable project in the Hebrides. Just to satisfy European energy rules, the SNPs folly of over committment to renewables. Might as well dump their nuclear waste as well.

His promises on local employment , community involvement etc are worthless and whilst the right to community benefit goes with the deal you also forget; as the crofters in Point overlooked, is that the community has to buy that benefit.

Exactly what - if they had had the intellegence, the equally gullable MWT Trustees overlooked too when they flogged the scheme to the communities of North and South Lochs.

Any one in Laxdale or Kershader got the millions of £s we will need to build our own turbines?

LOL. In a community devoted to the 4th Commandment we seem to have been chasing and been beaten by our adheance of the 10th Commandment.

Too much coveting.

MWT - money, wealth and treason.

Anonymous said...Électricité_de_France

Either way the French seem to be coming.

Meanwhile 6.37, your attitude sucks!

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @5:19 PM

I noticed in your rant you take a pop at 'Mackay'!

I assume this is the retired councillor Donald M MacKay OBE who served the community tirelessly for many years and brought in many improvements to the Pairc estate. The good roads you see and many of the amenities were brought in due to funding secured under his watch.

Look at what’s changed since he left office...nothing basically, in fact I believe Pairc is losing amenities. Who’s fighting the districts corner?

I'll also point out he received his OBE for services to the community.

So to point out that he has a vested interest in the wind farm is disingenuous.

I guess you’re one of a group of naysayers in south lochs (usually incomers) who sit on their behinds claiming dole because they have no wish to work and protesting against anything and everything whilst not coming up with any constructive alternatives to generating prosperity.

The Pairc bid is probably flawed and some of the parties probably may have vested interests (where is your proof) but your comments lack knowledge of the good intentions of the aforementioned.

Anonymous said...

"I guess you’re one of a group of naysayers in south lochs (usually incomers) who sit on their behinds claiming dole because they have no wish to work and protesting against anything and everything whilst not coming up with any constructive alternatives to generating prosperity."

What a pile of cr*p!

Anonymous said...

12:13PM Nice bit of a racist argument and a bunch of assumptions about "incomers". Odd that the ones I know in the area all work, and in some specific cases generate income from the mainland which they spend on the islands.

Oh, regarding gongs. That's your criteria for how noble someone is? An award system that is so "credible" that someone can get one for spending £11 million of taxpayers money on a flaky "broadband" service that barely works?

Not an incomer

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:13

It is noticeable that when ever a good blog argument gets going inevitably one bigoted commentator resorts back to the zenopobic line.

Any argument you may wish to make has been simply wasted on most of us by your narrow minded views.

Fortunately in the main most folk Hebridean or not have realised and recognised that with out the arrival of (God forbid) non Hebrideans both the population and spending wealth has been maintained on the islands by the influx of new arrivals irrespective of blood, race and creed.

Or are you like the Mr MacKay you praise one of those willing to publically state as he did at a Pairc Trust meeting in its early years that he would prefer the turbines (and on this occasion specifically)the English?

There are some, just a few who would rather see the islands rot into oblivion rather than share any of their promised land with any one else.

In our real world 12:13 it is who you are and what can you do now and in the future that makes the world go round - not where you come from and what you did in the past.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear,

Some fairly typical responses.

This really is a sad little bitter twisted corner of the Western Isles.

Anonymous said...

Messy. Surely however the Cooncil will have tied in to the planning permission that if it is sold all the benefits must continue. Surely that was a planning condition - wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

And it will continue to be so while the incumbents are considered the only voice of the community, and the only recipients of development support.

A community application to buy the Tigh Ceilidh, being disposed of by CNES, failed. The WIHB grant applied for was instead awarded to Aline Forest.

Apparently the money for a play park, (Ness style), was pretty much all spent paying for the access road to be built (See earlier posts on this blog). The contractor was the son of a Pairc Trust Director.

There is a lot of bitterness in Pairc and it will continue until the situation is resolved.

Anonymous said...

Current forms of renewable energy are just a bunch of goverment funded sheep shit....6.36 you speak sense- there's predictable energy in tidal power. The "struth" in Loch seaforth, Caolas Bernera, the sound of Scalpay and the sound of Harris to name a few spots where the untapped energy in the tidal flow must be massive, and could be reliably calculated for the next 200 years.

Wind power is just a dead norweigan blue parot with a fence post shoved up its ass to make it appear like a realistic alternative to fossil fuels

Anonymous said...

I hear tell that a road is to be pushed through Aline Forest to a pier that is to be built in Loch Seaforth.
For the tourists you know.
Will this "pier" then become a bridge to Nicks estate...for, well take your pick, towers, blades, etc, etc
Wonder who will get the contract for that, after the competive tendering process that these upright people are sure to follow!!!!

Anonymous said...


Don't beat about the bush/mince your words.

Eishken Forest is run by the Erisort Trust as a stand alone business company - as all good 'Trusts' must have one. Company Director Angus McDowell.

Oppenheims Windfarm Trustees for the area Trustee - Angus McDowell. Now who needs an access to Eishken estate? Where best - of course through the forest and across the narrow loch.

Current builder in the forest and heavily paid for by us the taxpayer - yep Angus McDowell.

Then of course there is his committee membership of Lochs Show group and their contractor spending our money is - yep Angus McDowell.

Pairc Trust and their land grab and huge profit chances all paid for by our money - Chairman no really! Angus McDowell.

Remember the catch phrase in Lochs and Eishken - "Follow the money" - your money.

Anonymous said...

But I love mincing my words, especialy with new potatoes.
Now can you guess who might be using one of the HIE units in Habost without I would allege:
1. Paying 2300 + VAT per year rent.
2. A minimum 5 year lease.
3. Not paying rates to the council.
4. Covering HIE's costs for said lease.
I leave it to your detective skills.

Anonymous said...


Ah now would this be the one of the two Trusts, their associated development companies and Island Book Society that seem to have taken over the council buildings at Ravenspoint with out any form of rent or bills - whilst council tax payers pick up the bill?

But maybe he is just keeping the Habost units warm for their real reason for existance - offices for SSE!

Anonymous said...


I think I would have to say BINGO!!

Now I am reliably informed that the Habost unit matter has been brought to the attention of the following,
The Scottish Goverment, HIE Inverness, HIE Stornoway, the council and the letting agent.

We wait with baited breath to see what will occur.

Discount for friends... said...

Can anyone find the advance units on the Assessors website?

Have they got some kind of free pass to avoid rates?

Can other people check for the advance units in their own areas, too please?

Dr Evadne said...

Getting back vaguely on topic; any word of the sell off to GDF,EDF or Jedward Power Ltd?

Having had a nose around GDF's un-helpful website, it has revealed that they are a very large organisation indeed and have many more subsidiaries and trading companies than Sir Oppenheim of Habost. They even own a company that makes wind turbine towers and all the other associated bits. I don't think it was located at Arnish.