-> 2010 -> Update on Offshore Windfarm Near Islay

Dimàirt, 27/Apr/2010

Update on Offshore Windfarm Near Islay

Islay News in stencil

It's just over 14 months ago that I wrote about the potential for an offshore windfarm near Islay. Since then it had gone fairly quiet around it, at least I haven't seen much about it over the last year. With thanks to @islayian (who also is a member of the Islay Energy Trust board of Tidal Energy Project fame) who pointed out the link an interesting update about the project:

On the Scottish and Southern Energy website go to the Project portfolio. From the list under ‘Wind farm’ you can then pick Islay (and also Kintyre will be of interest in a way, as it will also be visible from Islay).

The page is just an overview, the interesting stuff is in the PDF downloads under ‘More information’: You'll need to invest quite a bit of time to read it all (I haven't yet, just skim read), but there's a lot of information here. The ‘project scoping document’ alone is 70 (in words, seventy) pages long, if you include the table of contents, glossary etc it grows to 82 pages. Still, it is a very interesting read outlining the scope of all the impact assessments and consents required before the actual project of building the wind turbines can go ahead.

The scope is quite big, there are a lot of things to consider. I can't even try to listen them all here without going on for pages and pages. Just a few examples include:

For many people the aspect most easily understood is the visual impact, how will the turbines impact the views from Islay? Unfortunately that's where the Islay project page falls a bit short (at least for the time being). While there is a Zone of Theoretical Visibility for Islay, there isn't an equivalent for Islay of the Photomontage from A83 near Glenbarr for the Kintyre site. Lacking that I've played around a bit and wonder if it will look like this, not nearly as bad or much worse?

Badly manipulated picture with an offshore windfarm impression

Last but not least there will be a public exhibition on Islay which will hopefully provide more detail (and much more accurate impressions of the visual impact):

We plan to hold a Public Exhibition on Islay in Summer 2010. More information about this event will be noted here and advertised once a date and venue have been confirmed.

To be continued …

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