Sunday, 5 April 2009

Eishken Windfarm

It was reported in a Scottish Sunday newspaper that Scottish Energy Minister, Jim Mather, looks set to announce the approval for the 53-turbine Eishken Windfarm within the next two weeks.

I have commented extensively on this windfarm in the past, and made my opposition to it clear. Justification in terms of economic benefit has been rendered empty by the continued vacillation of the Arnish Fabrication Yard, where the turbines were going to be made. They will not. Current negotiations with Fife firm Bi-Fab will, if successful, result in the yard reverting to fabrication for the oil industry. The talks have been on-going for 6 months without result.

I find the hypocrisy of the Energy Minister breathtaking. He has allowed the closure of the Lighthouse Caledonia fish processing plant at Marybank with the loss of more than 100 jobs. Its assets have been shipped to a fish processing plant in Mr Mather's constituency in Argyll. He has promoted the continuation of a windfarm producer at Machrihanish, again in his constituency, who in all likelihood will produce the turbines for Eishken. Of course, this all subject to the usual tendering process (sic) and approval for the Beauly to Denny powerline, which is essential for exporting the power to the Scottish Central Belt. Because, are we in Lewis going to get any cheap electricity out of this? Get real.


  1. Mmmm, just as well that I didn't buy a certain houseplot at Seaforth Head then!

  2. Hhmmm ...
    perhaps I'm gonna have to stop reading your blogs Arnish, because like the Daily Mail, they make me *angry* ...!
    and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry ...!
    Nothing personal, you understand ...
    just the subject matter ... :- )

  3. Mr Fourex, that plot has been on the market at least since 2004 - and nobody wants it probably because it overlooks the windfarm site...

  4. i shouldn't comment on this as i don't live on lewis,but near where i was living in france windfarms are growing,and no they are not all that noisy at all.even in vanuatu there are a couple of windfarms. For me the choice of either a windfarm even across from my house ar having to bury nuclear waste,i know which i would choose from,and please don't tell me nuclear waste is not a problem or that they don't bury it,my a***. At Marcoule,on the rhone valley,(30kms away from my village)trains and trucks of nuclear waste are dumping the stuff there. I f we all want electricity we have to try to get it the cleanest way possible and sorry nuclear is not clean,okay no beltching chimney pots but definatly not clean

  5. On the way to our nearest city we pass a wind farm, and frankly I find no problem with the visual aspect of it. To me the turbines represent, [depending on my mood that day] either inscrutable Asian gentlemen doing their morning exercises in the park, or a tiny space craft atop a huge stand. Neither is threatening to me. [When I enquired of My Man what the correct name is for those exercises in the park, he admitted to not knowing, but did add his five bob's worth ... the turbines are much more gracious than foreign gents in the park!]
    At least they do not drown valleys as many hydro dams, and alter the course of downstream rivers, thus causing a build up of gravel which after a period of time makes flooding a certaintity.
    I guess we all have differing views.

  6. In brief summary, I do not dispute the obvious advantages of wind energy over nuclear and fossil fuel. The issue is the location of the windfarm, which will do a lot of damage to the fragile environment of the Eishken hills. Wildlife will also suffer, not just in the construction phase of the project. Moreover, the location is in plain view of the Clisham range and other major hills in North Harris. The move in the last 5 years has been away from on-shore windfarms to off-shore; and it is just that there is nobody in Eishken and only 50 souls around Loch Seaforth to oppose the financial might of the developers and the estate owner.

  7. are so right but I suspect very few people on the Island or blogging community actually care very much as long as it does not happen on their doorstep or cost them money directly. The short term carnage and impact on Environment will no doubt be glossed over but any medium/long term damage is only to guessed at.......but maybe it won't happen at all due to lack of finance or change of policies....who knows!! ....RJG