Friday, 15 January 2010

Eishken Windfarm - community benefit?

Hebrides News has published an article, outlining the benefits to be bestowed on the community of South Lochs through the construction of the Muaitheabhal Project, better known as the Eishken Windfarm. These benefits will leave South Lochs out of pocket to the tune of £6.9m. Let me explain.

Initial expenditure
Four turbine sites in the windfarm: £0
Four turbine towers: £18.5m
Contribution to Western Isles Council development fund: £11.5m

Total initial expenditure: £30m

1% of income of main windfarm: £8.75m
Revenue of own turbines: £21.6m

I should clarify that it is unclear whether the above two figures are per annum or over the lifetime of the project

Total income: £30.35m

Contribution to Western Isles Council Development Fund: £7.2m (1/3 of revenue, as above)

Net income for Muaitheabhal Community Trust

Apart from the figures quoted above, The Western Isles Community Development fund will receive £4.4m from the main windfarm over the lifetime of the project, which means £26m in total.

It should be noted that the £18m required to construct the turbines will have to be coughed up by the villagers of South Lochs, whose number stands at a few hundred. Eishken estate owner Nicholas Oppenheimer has set up a loan structure for the South Lochs folks to borrow the money.

I will go so far as to call this "community benefit" a screw-up of monumental proportions. Naturally, if I have misread the article, or if there are clarifications which need to be added to the figures quoted in the article, then I'd be more than pleased to modify this post accordingly.


  1. We've covered this before. The people of Lochs won't have to pay a penny personally.

    I'll repeat my comment from a previous post to reiterate...

    "You’re not suggesting, surely, that the good people of Lochs are going to have to dip into their savings or hold the island’s biggest ever jumble sale to purchase their allocation of turbines?!
    Your local trust / committee will raise the required finance for what is essentially a commercial endeavor the way any business does, go to banks, lenders and investors (NOT creaming off grants) for the readies and repay them as the income and all that nice green electricity is generated. They’ll also have the backing of Beinn Mhor, CNES and all the usual agencies so funding the community enterprise shouldn’t be a problem. "

    And the income figures are per annum. The Lochs lot will be rolling in it very soon, driving about in Hybrid Bentleys and having caviar on their marags.

  2. Oh well, fair enough - but seeing is believing.

  3. T(Turbines in the Pairc)16 January 2010 at 19:00

    Yet again the 'Croft' pontificates. The urban crofter.

    Lets get it straight pal, we have been lied too and conned by the SNP all along. The Pairc Trust, Eishken Trust, Oppenheim's Trust etc. exist to promote Wind farms and their personal invested interest first. Wealthy Community? Come over and visit this impoverished community - Officially the poorest region in the Highlands and Island.

    Bentley and Caviar - crumbs from under the table of the new masters of Pairc.

    Croft when you returned to the promised land and re-settle from your urban comfort - utter, until then think before you speak.

  4. Windfarm Trillionaire16 January 2010 at 19:03

    While you are right 'croft', that the old black house won't have to mortgaged to raise capital, you are profoundly wrong in your assumption that any plebs will benefit directly. The money is to be administered by the MCWFT and employed in job creation schemes. As there's not too many unemployed Lochies...I guess they will be jobs for the returning economic exiles, or maybe...

  5. Oh, ow T in the Pairc! Once again the dafties (hiding behind new monikers) get personal rather than address the issues. :)

    I'm well aware of the financial state of the island which is why developments like this are vital. Maybe when there are some jobs and the economy gets back on it's feet I, and many other exiles like me, can return home and make a living.

    "Croft when you returned to the promised land and re-settle from your urban comfort - utter, until then think before you speak."

    None of that sentence makes sense. Think before you type PAL?


  6. WT: No I didn't suppose Lochs residents would be getting big fat bundles of cash handed to them weekly. The bit about hybrids and fancy marags was a faint stab at humour. Though judging by the self-centered outlook of many of the windfarm opponents I suspect they now feel they deserve direct financial recompense in this form.

    The COMMUNITY will benefit financially. New facilities, funding for music, arts and other projects, schools, centers etc etc. The money will improve matters in Lochs AND further afield. But until this happens let's just keep up the usual hyperbole about fat cat landlords sleeping on beds of cash and council officials lighting cigars with "your" £100 notes...

    Regardless of all that, this development represents one of the single largest jobs boosts and inward investment projects the island has seen in a quarter of a century. Shame on y'all for trying to stop it.

  7. The Nimbys ride off into the Hebridean sunset cushioned by private incomes and pensions while the natives emigrate with wearying regularity. I'm prepared to admit this is probably a horribly skewed vision, but there may be a grain of truth in it:-)

  8. T(Turbines) in the Pairc17 January 2010 at 18:24

    The Croft - Sorry, I had over assummed your comprehension ability - I'll explain.

    Returned - come back, home coming, revisit. Back to Orinsay, to Pairc where you assume the returning masses dying to work out on the moor are determined to journey to
    Promised land - Pairc described by you as the new land of absolute wealth
    Re-settle - buy one of the holiday homes, empty shells or better than that one of the un-sold houses that are on the market - unsellable because of the threat of turbines
    Urban comfort - nice house in Glasgow I believe powered by on-shore renewables in some one elses back yard not yours
    Utter - say, express, speaking - usually with thought
    Think - consider, reflect. The process of constructing considered thought preferably on subjects you are either firmly aware of or live in the environments of
    Speak - Express, lecture, converse. Iam surprised looking at your numerous comments on this site I would have thought you understood that

    Hope that all helps

  9. I'd be prepared to countenance an on-shore windfarm, at Eishken, provided the revenue (£875 million per annum) all went into the Western Isles. Provided we all got free electricity in these islands.

    One man stands to get filthily rich out of the demolition of the Eishken wilderness and sits there laughing his head off whilst we fight like ferrets in a sack.

    I reject all attempts at silencing windfarm opponents that are based on the fact that many of them are not natives to these parts. Play the ball, not the man.

  10. TIP: Thanks but even with all those helpful dictionary definitions your sentence fails to parse!

    "When you returned..." - I haven't returned. Maybe you mean "When you return" or "When you have returned" ?

    So assuming that's what you meant, when I return you suggest I...

    "...utter, until then..."

    I'm just supposed to utter? Utter what? That word on its own is just weird.


    Anyway, moving on...

  11. Arnish: Despite the easy portrayal of ol' Nick as an evil, money grabbing exploiter of the poor and needy, from what I've heard, Mr Oppenheim is far from the devil incarnate or yet another Soapman either.

  12. Thecroft: as I said in comment #10, I think it is out of order to take this matter to a personal level. Whether it be towards you, Mr Oppenheim, myself or anybody else.

    My criticism of Mr Oppenheim is not directed against the man himself, but more at the failure of the planning process that allowed this situation to arise - and I can't blame "ole Nick" for taking advantage of it.

  13. "One man stands to get filthily rich out of the demolition of the Eishken wilderness and sits there laughing his head off whilst we fight like ferrets in a sack."

    Maybe just a little personal? :)

  14. Windfarm Trillionaire17 January 2010 at 21:20

    Sounds like 'croft' might be buddies with old Oppenheim, or wishes he was.

  15. Now, I think I understand why youngsters are leaving Lewis---if you dare not to agree with certain peoples point of view,you are treated with disdain:grow up!!!

  16. "Evil must never be confronted directly, for then it will learn to defend itself."
    -The I-Ching,