59 – Turbine Wind Farm at Cabrach – good news or bad some views? Some thoughts on Solar power, ideas and tidal , comments welcome?

Wind farms are an interesting subject and I enjoy a discussion on the pros and cons, there are some good comments from folk I know when I put it on my Facebook page. I am interested on renewable’ s and have had 8 solar panels on my roof for 6 years and they are great, pretty effective. They should in my view be on every new build but no one seems to be interested?

2011 My solar panels a great asset.

We wasted the UK’s oil wealth just think if we had put away 1% away in a UK Common good fund how much would have now to help the whole of the UK instead it was frittered away by successive Governments?

We now have huge wind farms all made abroad and the profits going to huge companies mainly from overseas and local communities are bought off with a very small % of the output. If we have wind farms it should have been a UK project with the benefits being kept in the UK. I am sure that those who love them would have supported such an idea or I am so far out of reality.    I would appreciate any comments there are some good ones at the bottom of this blog. I wonder if anyone in authority is listening?

Local Hydro schemes – BROOMPOWER CONSTRUCTION IS GO!

We were delighted to be joined by investors and supporters young and old at the BroomPower Breaking Ground event on Saturday 13th May….thanks to all who were able to come and all our investors near and far.

Run entirely by volunteers and financed by members of the public, Broom Power is a community hydro-electric scheme for the Ullapool and Lochbroom area. Hydro power from the Allt a’Mhuilinn burn south of Ullapool will be used to generate electricity which will be sold to the National Grid, generating income for community projects.

After 4 months of fundraising, the scheme reached its target funding of £900,000 on the 28th August 2016. There were over 450 investors, with the majority putting in between £300 and £2,000 each. 54% were from the local area and 46% from the wider UK and beyond, including the Netherlands, France, US and Japan. Many local investors did so on behalf of children and grandchildren highlighting the long-term community and environmental benefit of a community-owned renewable energy scheme. The 100kw hydro will generate income for community projects for the next 20-40 years, as well as giving up to 4% pa return for investors.

For regular updates on progress sign up to our blog at BroomPower Blog  or like us on Facebook or Twitter @broompower

The small community Hydro schemes seem to be a good idea as well and I was impressed at the one near Beinn Dearg above when I was on the hill at Inverael.  ( Ullapool) it seems very effective and mainly for the local community, if anyone has a view please let us know?

EDF Energy Renewables were given a two-year consent to excavate a borrow pit on the site – although it was not a unanimous decision by members of the planning and regulatory services committee.

Three of the 11 committee members voted against the application, saying that it would impact adversely on an area of great landscape value.

It is now anticipated that the permission will see 80,000 cubic metres of stone being excavated for use at the site of the windfarm. Councillors were told that the pit would provide most or all of the rock material required during the construction on the 59-turbine site.

A report to planning committee members said: “This would prevent the costly and unnecessary import of materials and large number of HGV movements to and from the site on the public road.

“While it is a large borrow pit and likely to host a period of intensive material extraction, it benefits from being in a remote location out of sight of any public roads or residence.”

The nearest occupied home to the site of the pit is 3.2km away, councillors were informed.

Comments – Wind farm comments from others?

R Cox -I don’t know. We all need “lecky” for our ever-increasing array if gadgets and our homes. Sometimes its the lesser if two evils. Do we want fracking ? I think not. Nuclear? Probably not as safe as we r led to believe . Tidal power being looked at various places but brings with it its own set of maintenance issues. Solar panels renewable, unobtrusive and may be helped take pressure off the grid. Wind turbines …. Renewable, safe but to a lot of folk unsightly. I think they look graceful , also if per chance in the near future a miracle solution to all our power needs is discovered then they can be dismantled safely and probably cheaper and leave no lasting scar on the country side.. .. I am no expert in this area and this is only my views and thoughts?

P Millar – This is exactly how I feel.. However I think solar is the way forward.. All new build houses should have them fitted to the roof as standard with over capacity to feed into the grid.. I know there is some down sides but less so than many other options.

D Mitchell – I suspect, at least in part, that the answer to that is that it is not in the interests of the power companies to push solar. What is in it for them if we all produce power independently? Storage has always been the key to solar. If the will was their battery technology could have been accelerated years ago. Fortunately other industries without a vested interest, car manufacture, are now pushing the boundaries of storage.

Jack Bishop – I’m open-minded about fracking but it should be cautiously allowed in a small way and monitored closely. I don’t like the nuclear option because of the long term and costly safe storage of nuclear waste and the long decommissioning process of old reactors. Wind turbines don’t operate all year round due mainly to weather conditions which makes unreliable. Solar power is good but storing the power produced is currently a problem. Tidal energy is the way to go and I believe and the French are already receiving power from tidal generation off the north coast of France.

Andy Lawson – Yes but out at sea

  1. Smith –  Keep them at sea…

A Swadel –  Or at very least not on our wild land. I saw a report via work that by 2020, electricity from onshore wind is expected to be cheaper than from gas-fired power stations. That is amazing. Shame the connection charges up here are (Or at least were) ridiculous

 

B Smith – If you look at the continent, they already have offshore farms in planning with bids below the forecasted price for 2020 I believe and certainly subsidy free. But the grid usage needs to improve to make the most of renewable peaks and troughs. Energy efficiency should be one of the top priorities in my opinion.

 

D Gleave – Solar on a domestic level is complicated by the grids ability to cope, Spain having problems in this regards. French have been generating from tidal since the 60’s, however it’s a massively intrusive method, a little like tidal lagoons. I think the low impact offshore wave and tidal we think of is still some time away.

P Ross – . The ability to build houses with unobtrusive solar panel capability to not only recharge the soon-to-be-common electric cars but supply your house with all its electricity needs is here, now. Further, the battery storage capability is increasing exponentially; thanks to Elon Musk. Certain buildings are already putting electricity back into the grid and gaining income. This will be standard in the immediate future. So Scotland can stop destroying its beautiful countryside. Oil is dead: Hinckley Point? A ###### white elephant brought about by a stupid and grossly incompetent PM.

  1. Greensill – Yes but the trouble is big business can’t tax sunlight Pete, and that is exactly why we aren’t moving more quickly in this area.

B Smith – We need to modernise how we build and what materials we use, house building is stuck in the past. Renewable energy can help and energy efficiency needs to improve. Microgrids need to become more commonplace too.

J Fraser – Thinking back to the 40 and 50s, nobody’s house is going to permanently flooded this time! Generally, wind energy development is a good thing. The Highlands is not somebody’s museum and there is no reason for the economy to be as poor as it is. The way that wind energy is panning out, not enough money is coming back to communities and individuals in the areas where the turbines are installed. People come from far away to build and maintain these. Now we are approaching saturation point and onshore wind development from now on should be limited. The next phases are offshore wind and tidal energy development. We’ll get screwed over just the same.

A Swadel – It’d help the economy if we were building them here as well.

J Fraser –  In the good times, $115/barrel, be British, and just bank the cash. Never mind about the future. Never mind about the Germans and Danes, with hardly a breath of wind, and toy-town tides, pi55ing all over us in the manufacture of renewable energy machines.

  1. Nisbet – Off-shore wind farms have massive turbines and could easily produce all the energy the land ones do (and much more), without the environmental disaster. Just cost more to set up. I can’t remember the figures, but the new field off Scotland will produce (I think) enough power for all of Scotland.

J Fraser – I was at Nigg when we put together the two Beatrice demonstrators. They are 5MW and were the biggest in the world at the time (2006). 126m rotors. The original plan was 200 x 5MW. DFIM generating machinery and nacelle were German and the blades were Danish. Just the easy stuff was Scottish.

s
Stephen Turner Whilst wind turbine technology/efficiency is not as good as Governments and profit seeking firms would have us believe. It is clean. Furthermore a wind turbine can be dismantled in years to come, more easily than a nuclear power station. I just wish more thought and better planning went into the sighting and cable laying. You only have to look at the debacle going on outside my house. Two firms laying cables in the same place. Can they do it at the same time, no. One firm digs up the fields with a trench miles and miles long, puts in a cable, fills in the trench. Firm no 2 comes along to dig up the original trench to put their cable in. But they can’t because firm no 1 have to dig it up to fix over 20 breaks in the first cable. So if you haven’t seen Coco the clown for a while, he’s working in a field in Moray.

Thanks to all for your comments any more are welcome and pass your ideas thoughts onto your MP/ they may get some good ideas!

Kev Mitchell – Totally agree Heavy all new builds should have then via building regs
Bill Rose –  Far better than money in the bank. I fitted an invertor to transfer excess electricity to the immerser to heat the hot water system. Cut the gas bill by 20%. Pity the UK Govt cut the feed in tariff to almost nothing for new installations and wasting millions on a new nuclear plant. Small is good. Small hydro schemes quickly blend in to the surroundings after construction. We lead the way in green energy. Just need a balance to cope when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow which is what hydro and wave does well.

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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One Response to 59 – Turbine Wind Farm at Cabrach – good news or bad some views? Some thoughts on Solar power, ideas and tidal , comments welcome?

  1. ptsd17 says:

    Staying just outside Dufftown, I’m going to be blighted by these spinning white monsters ruining a beautiful area of countryside. In my opinion these monstrosities should be put up around the outskirts of cities, along the sides of motorways, and on Industrial estates, not the beautiful countryside of Scotland. I’m resigned to these appearing on the horizon soon and the meagre payout due to the area. I’m sure most of this cash will be frittered away, much like the oil profits, instead of being invested for the communities future. I’d much rather see 2 extra turbines being installed from the money due to the community, one would create a cash flow for the community to use on local projects, and the other to subsidise electricity for everyone in the community. That way everyone benefits, not just the local indoor carpet bowls club getting a new carpet, or the mother & toddlers getting a premises.

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