A few weeks ago I wrote about "Winds of Change on Islay" in which I mentioned the proposed windfarms off the south and west coast of Islay. In the meanwhile I've been contacted by someone who is active in a new group on Islay called "Power 4 Islay". In the article they have sent me you can read more about this group, about the proposed windfarm plans and you can read what you can do to let your voice heard:
Power4Islay is made up of a group of over 110 people, growing daily, who live on or have family or close connections with Islay. It is increasingly getting new members from people who regularly holiday on the island.
It supports renewable energy generation that is conducive to the natural environment and which benefits the community. It supports the Islay Energy Trusts's community tidal and wind turbines as currently planned. However it is very wary of the short term nature and lack of sustainability that a regime based on generous subsidies produces. The group was formed after direct experience on Islay of lack of transparency and omission of material issues from planning decisions associated with the renewables industry. It campaigns for all information regarding offshore developments - both negative and positive - to be transparent, complete and evidence based.
What schemes are actually planned on Islay? There are 3 consultations and plans active: Continue reading....
1. Scottish and Southern Electricity Renewables (SSER) plan to build a very large array of wind turbines - approx 138 â€“ just 13 k (7miles) off the west coast of Islay and covering 94 sq.km. (36.29 sq miles). Including their blades, the turbines will be about 130ms (426 feet) high, that's nearly FOUR Ruvaal lighthouses stacked on top of each other. From Portnahaven you will be able to look across from the boatyard to Frenchman's Rocks and see 136 of these turbines ranged behind them. From Machir Bay we, and visitors, will see 135 stretched 90% across the horizon.
2. DP Marine Energy Ltd are now in final planning stages to build a 'Tidal Energy Park' only 3 miles out from Portnahaven and Port Wemyss. This will be small in the first instance- around 15 turbines but the plan is to increase that to circa 80-100 in the next application phase. They have yet to decide how many (could be all) of these will all be visible above the surface.
3. In a recent meeting Marine Scotland opened further consultation to extend the area of sea around Islay where more turbine, wave or tidal arrays could be built. These new plans almost double the area off the west coast and extend it all the way round to east of the Oa. A map is available on line.
If you are concerned about these schemes, wish to learn more or indeed want to make your voice heard in consultations, then contact Stuart or Beryl at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also express your views directly to Marine Scotland. Please write if you are concerned about the impact of an expansion of offshore arrays on any the following: sea-life and its creatures; visual experience; quality and character of sea and landscapes; historic interests; hydro-dynamics; pollution and contamination; fishing; leisure and sailing; night time effects (turbines will be lit); the balance of other technologies; tourism and bird life. (details below).
This is what SSE says the Islay Array will look like 7 miles off the coast at Machir Bay. In this impression the turbines are barely visible.
Photographs never lie do they?
Below are three photographs taken of the Thanet Array which is also 7 miles off the coast. All taken from the same spot but with different lens lengths.
1. Marine Scotland wants our responses to the 'Planning Scotland's Seas' ie the massive extension of our seas for off shore energy development. You can see the document at http://scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/07/9185 to be in by November 13th 2013. It doesn't matter how short our letters are, we just need to register our concerns or questions. Email to email@example.com or write to Marine Planning Team. Marine Scotland. 1A (S) Victoria Quay. Edinburgh. EH6 6QQ.
2. Marine Scotland wants responses to the DP Marine Energy Application â€“ 011/TIDE/DPSWI - to build a Tidal Energy Park off Islay. The deadline for this is December 13th 2013. Email to DPME@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or write to: The Scottish Government. MSLOT. Marine Laboratory.PO Box 101.375, Victoria Road. Aberdeen.AB119DB.
3. SSER will be putting in their application to build their large wind turbine array in 2014. Watch this space.
All we want are the facts before making properly informed decisions. If i you are interested to learn more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org