Wednesday, 12 April 2006


<![CDATA[ A lot has been made of the projected windfarms in North Lewis, 234 turbines stretching from Ness to Bragar to Stornoway. What people tend to forget is the windfarm in Eishken.

This encompasses 133 turbines on the highest hills (Beinn Mhor there rises to 1,900 ft), with associated infrastructure. Roads, plants, pylons, you name it. For those unfamiliar with the island, Eishken is derilict. In a previous post, some time ago, I wrote about Eishken's 36 deserted villages. There is one settlement left, Eishken Lodge, surrounded by electronic fences, on Loch Shell. From this lodge, stalkers will venture forth into the estate to shoot deer. So nobody within Eishken will object. The only objections have come from those living on Loch Seaforth, in the tiny settlements from Ath Linne to Maraig, all of 50 people.

The estate owner has now proposed to reduce the number of turbines on the Muaitheabhal project (as it is officially called) to 57. It's still going to be a desecration of the mountains of Harris, only a hop and a step across the water. Late in 2004, he established the Muaitheabhal Trust, and any local resident that joined that Trust would be sharing in the profits. Any local resident that would NOT join would NOT share in the profits. Nice one.
In adjacent South Lochs, windturbines are proposed for the moorlands there. It will come as little surprise that the decision from the local community in November 2004 to mount a community buy-out went down like a lead balloon with the estate owner there, a different person from Eishken incidentally. It would mean that the current owner would lose out on a handsome profit to be made on windpower.

Windgenerators are indeed a tried and tested means of making money out of the winds. They are also shown to be detrimental to the environment. The local population of golden eagles stands to be slashed, quite literally, by the turbines. The moorlands will be churned up for the construction of the associated infrastructure, and forever scarred by the towers. Even if they are taken down after 25 years, the scars remain.

As I've queried before, why this obsession with wind turbines? Last weekend, another consignment of Pelamis [wavepower] units left for Portugal. I restate the question why they aren't being used here. ]]>

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