Friday, 10 April 2009

Windfarms and powerlines

At the moment, one windfarm in Lewis (Eishken) looks set to get the go-ahead from Scottish Ministers next week; the other one, Pairc [South Lochs], is still subject to public consultation. Following an error, the term for submitting objections to it was extended until 17 April (next Friday).

Any electricity generated by on-shore windfarms in Lewis will have to be transmitted off the island to its mainland consumers. The current link, which reaches the Western Isles through Skye, has nowhere near the capacity to cope with the projected output of the 53 turbines in Eishken as well as 26 turbines in South Lochs. A subsea cable will have to be laid to the mainland, Dundonnell on Little Loch Broom, and from there underground to a powerstation near Beauly, just west of Inverness. From Beauly, the electricity will be taken south to a major switching station at Denny, near Stirling.

This requires the entire infrastructure to be upgraded. The regional press is reporting that Highland Council is opposed to an expansion of the site at Beauly, in its current form. The upgrade of the lines to Denny has been subject to a public inquiry, and the outcome of that is awaited.

The relevance to the Lewis windfarms of all this is, that should the infrastructure upgrade not get the overall go-ahead, the windfarms cannot be built.


  1. I think we'll be facing the same thing up here as regards the Viking Energy project. I'm all for wind turbines, in fact I think everyone that's able to have one on their property should have one, but the VE is very non viable.

    The infrastructure to get the things in place would take millions of pounds which hasn't been said by VE so I'm assuming that they will be expecting the council to cough this up at a time where money is getting scarce and set to get scarcer.

    Having said all that I'm looking forward to seeing the wind turbines that have been mooted for Bressay. They are to be the size of the Burghdale ones which I think are lovely to look at (and don't require as much cost to put up)

  2. I think we are in for an interesting chapter in this whole saga. RJG