Wednesday, 28 June 2006


<![CDATA[ Awoke this morning to the sight of a 200 ft section of white piping being loaded onto a barge at the Arnish Fabrication Yard.

The shed is 80 ft high, so it gives a sense of proportion. I do not have definite information on the destination of this pipe, but I am aware of Arnish Yard currently working on projects for an off-shore windfarm east of Caithness and for a windfarm in the Netherlands. It is good to see the yard back in full flow, after months and years of stagnation.

News also come through this morning, that the electricity company, Scottish and Southern Energy, have told the Stornoway Trust that they will NOT pay for the infrastructure, needed for the six-windturbine development along the Pentland Road, west of Stornoway. This infrastructure includes the construction of roadways, six transformer stations and a wind measuring mast. The announcement has increased the cost of construction by 2 to 3 million pounds, giving the Stornoway Trust, who has commissioned the project, a bit of a headache.

And I thought it required an interconnector for this whole scheme to work as well. An interconnector being the subsea electricity cable that carries the power across to the mainland. Last time I was on Beinn Mholach, a wind measuring mast was there, but lying on the ground. The nearby hill of Beinn Thulabaigh does have a mast on it, which looks like wind monitoring. Well, proposed finishing date for the Beinn Mholach project is 2013, if memory serves - the North Lewis windfarm is projected to be constructed very close by, its range of turbines march south from Bragar, via Roiseal Mor past the eastern foot of the Barvas Hills (of which Beinn Mholach is one) towards Stornoway. Another windfarm for Stornoway is due to start construction in the Arnish area by the end of the summer.

The picture below shows what a 450 ft high windturbine could look like, if built on the quayside at the Arnish Yard. It is an "artist impression", worked on the assumption that the shed at Arnish is 80 ft high, which I used as bench mark for working the picture.


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