Remember Don Quixote and Sancho Panza? Cervantes' heroes, forever battling windmills. Well, the reverse can be said of our local council. They are battling to get a huge windfarm to Lewis, come hell or high water.
Yesterday, the Scottish Government's Energy Minister, Jim Mather, spoke at a renewables forum in Stornoway, saying that the Western Isles had the greatest potential for renewable energy in the whole of Scotland. Not just windpower, but also tidal, wave and solar. Any such project would have to be viewed against European environmental legislation. His remarks are varyingly seen as a hint towards approval of the North Lewis Windfarm or as a hint towards final rejection. The Scottish Government has told the developers, LWP, on January 25 that they were "minded to reject".
The local council has decided not to wait for Mr Mather's final decision, but has already launched an alternative scheme. Another giant windfarm, stretching from Stornoway to Ness, but this time in community ownership to the tune of 50%.
The Comhairle has said that it intends to open discussions with community- owned estates (Stornoway and Galson), to make this happen. Generating electricity on this sort of scale, according to the council, would (I quote) "fund environmental management work that will enhance the sustainability of a wide range of habitats and support jobs for their interpretation."
I think I need to lie down in a darkened room now.
Nothing has changed, except for the ownership issue. If the current LWP plans are turned down - so will the new plans.