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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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Do you think it actually increases SSE running costs to buy Burradale's renewable power though? Be a bit of a bumper if it was! :shock:

 

I have heard that the power station staff regularly swear for Burradale, as the power output is quite variable. So it could could be that they have to keep an engine running that would be shut down if a reliable alternative was availble, rather than risk power cuts.

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I was having problems making up my mind on this one, but this has just about done it for me:

 

http:// http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/1006162/viking-pr-firm-executive-launches-anti-windfarm-campaign

 

It is hard to not to question VE's glowing public statements when an executive in their own PR company doesn't believe them. He presumably has access to the same information. Employees have personal opinions but it emphasises to me that PR companies say whatever their clients want no matter what the truth is - I guess that's the point! We need the truth, not the spin and we don't need to be manipulated.

 

And then there's the conflicts of interest (which are so incredible that they surely can’t be legal?) and the pro-VE letters in the press. I have just read nasty comments about individuals in Sustainable Shetland on Shetland News ‘Letters’ - written by someone who turns out to be a close relative of a VE shareholder?!? Of course, everyone is entitled to publicly state their opinion but this all lends support to the anti-wind farm executive from VE's PR company when he cites as one of the main objections:

 

"The "cowboy" techniques of wind farm developers to "force" turbines on communities"

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I have just read nasty comments about individuals in Sustainable Shetland on Shetland News ‘Letters’ - written by someone who turns out to be a close relative of a VE shareholder?!? Of course, everyone is entitled to publicly state their opinion but this all lends support to the anti-wind farm executive from VE's PR company when he cites as one of the main objections:

 

"The "cowboy" techniques of wind farm developers to "force" turbines on communities"

 

Yes, there is obviously a deliberate attempt to create an appearance of public support at this late stage. There was a letter in the paper last week by someone with a very close connection to a VE director. There's no issue with people like that publicly showing support, but it would lend more credibility to their opinions if they were open about their connection and the fact that they have a financial interest in the outcome.

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Question for the supporters..

 

Much of the recent debate has been around CO2 emissions so...

 

would you still support the development if it was fully funded and operated by one of the energy companies and none of the profit found it's way back to the islands economy?

 

I'm assuming the staunch environmentalists are only concerned about reducing emissions - so who funds and benefits financially isn't a concern to them.

 

I've kept quiet on the issue until now, but as a supporter from day one, I feel that question deserves a reply, and the simple answer is yes.

 

The core element is providing for our future generations.

 

I am also in favour of the local involvement, but it is not the deciding factor. I just really hope the local financial wranglings don't end up delaying or even worse writing off, such an important move forward.

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Don't you think it might be better if our feckless political representatives got down to the business of properly looking after the pot of gold we've managed to accumulate from the oil industry? Instead of staking it all on a half-witted foray into the sharkpit, to make a cack-handed investment in a dubious industry for questionable profit?

 

By the way - who exactly is working for Viking Energy? There seems to be a fair representation in their office now from the Burradale contingent - shame no one got a fair crack at a graduate placement this year.

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A young man (who I shan't name as I have no place to) is working as a graduate placement for VE this summer. He doesn't have any connections with Burradale and was a fair hire amongst those who applied for the placement.

 

Describing investment in the wind industry as "half-witted" and the industry itself as "dubious" shows that you have done absolutely no homework on this matter. Well done.

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My suggestion is:- a much smaller project, designed to provide cheap energy for Shetland, rather than supplying the central belt of Scotland. Talk about a carbon footprint - displacing three quarters of a million tonnes of peat might be a difficult one to offset.

 

My evidence has been gathered by keeping a close eye on this project since it was first mooted, and reflecting on other multi-million pound projects which have been invested in by this Council/Charitable Trust, none of which have amounted to much and many of which have been out and out stinkers.

 

And these people who the 'PEOPLE' like me (presumably you don't vote) elected are just as equipped as the rest of us to make decisions like this; winning a popularity contest is sadly no guarantee of intelligence.

 

The Council SHOULD be quality assured and, by definition, so should Viking Energy, as a Council/CT project.

 

I think I'm not the only one who's asking questions of my councillors.

 

Originalusername - glad to hear there's a graduate placement there; I wasn't thinking of the 'young man' you speak of. Would still be nice to see a staff list, though, from what I hear.

 

And I might point out I have actually spent some time looking at the submission online (have you?); as homework, I wouldn't recommend it - scared the crap out of me.

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Don't you think it might be better if our feckless political representatives got down to the business of properly looking after the pot of gold we've managed to accumulate from the oil industry? Instead of staking it all on a half-witted foray into the sharkpit, to make a cack-handed investment in a dubious industry for questionable profit?

 

And your suggestion is????

 

And your evidence is??

 

These folk the PEOPLE elect, folk like you, may know more than you, as they have to see the whole picture...

 

And is Viking a quality assured company?

 

Is the SIC quality assured??

 

Letters to the council may be a real way of dealing with your fears rather than JUST posting here, you can do both and let us know the response, I look forward to it...

 

The problem as I see it is, the people who stand for election, and get elected do so as "councillors", ie. they are offering themselves as people to provide and run local public services. Their role as investment bankers is simply a side one that they assume on occasion when asked to, and their competency in such a role rarely gets a mention at election time.

 

I would argue that if the elections were held, as I believe they should be, on a equally declared and promoted dual ticket of councillor/investment banker that there would be a very different field of candidates and election results. The banker element of the job crept in very slowly, quietly and relatively unpublicised, most folk's mindset when voting was that they were voting for someone to work towards providing and running local public services in their area and in Shetland in general, and such was the creeping stealth and non-publicity of the banker role in the job over the years, that many folk's mindset never really changed. It has only been in the last 10 years or so as a result of numerous monumental multi-million losses that a groundswell has formed questioning what in hell is going on with our money.

 

While many are okay with the status quo, many aren't, and I'm definitely in the latter category. As far as I'm concerned CT trustees should ideally be selected in a second election wholly seperate from council elections, as I'd argue till the cows come home that finding the talents inherent in any person that IMHO made them a decent choice to oversee providing and running local public services, and also astute and competent enough to make hard nosed business investment decisions (especially when its not their own money on the line) is as near zero as you'll get.

 

As things stand a large number of folk vote for a traditional "councillor" first, and an investment banker as a very secondary afterthought, if they think of that angle at all, and we have the total ***** up we've had this far as a result. The current management structure of the CT has proven itself either incapable of or highly incompetent at making responsible investment decisions through a number of well documented major losses involving £1 Million of less, why in the name would anybody be crazy enough to contemplate letting the same mob meddle in £50 Million investments, especially swimming in the same water as professional full-time sharks. They, and Shetland will be screwed over at the first chance.

 

The CT needs to be run by single role trustees, elected to the job to invest the fund responsibly and profitably, and to be answerable in full to those who elected them when a mistake is made. No more pet projects dragged in from some other hat they wear, no more scratching backs for drinking pals and relatives, then hiding behind one of their other hats when called on it, and definitely no more making bad CT investments and being able to step away from them as they're standing primarily as a "councillor".

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Originalusername - glad to hear there's a graduate placement there; I wasn't thinking of the 'young man' you speak of. Would still be nice to see a staff list, though, from what I hear.

 

Paid staff list at the Viking Energy office:

David Thomson

Aaron Priest

the graduate placement (who I shan't name)

 

The rumours you may have been hearing are that Lisa Ward, daughter of Angus Ward (Burradale) is also a paid member of staff.

 

She isn't.

 

She has however been doing some voluntary work for the company while she looks for a paid job.

 

I don't think we should worry - our hard earned pennies aren't employing her! Anyone is free to volunteer their services wherever they choose.

 

And I might point out I have actually spent some time looking at the submission online (have you?); as homework, I wouldn't recommend it - scared the crap out of me.

 

I have indeed! Investment in wind farming appears to be some of the most lucrative investing one can do at the moment. I would certainly recommend it!

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The core element is providing for our future generations.

 

 

Is this not fast becoming one of the biggest arguments against this particular model/ proposal? the huge gamble with Shetland's money which could have dire consequences for future generations? Shetland is in the extraordinary position of being able to invest in a project like this - but is this the right one? It sounds extremely (and increasingly) high risk.

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The core element is providing for our future generations.

Is this not fast becoming one of the biggest arguments against this particular model/ proposal? the huge gamble with Shetland's money which could have dire consequences for future generations? Shetland is in the extraordinary position of being able to invest in a project like this - but is this the right one? It sounds extremely (and increasingly) high risk.

So what would you suggest? Gambling with the money on the stock exchange? How long will the money last at current levels of spending anyway?

 

"It sounds extremely (and increasingly) high risk."

 

How so? The cost has gone up, but so has the return. Do you really expect energy prices to fall over the next thirty years? That's what would have to happen for this windfarm to be unprofitable.

Finally, for me building the windfarm could give us a steady return on our investment, and a more stable and ethical investment at that, rather than sitting on the volatile stock markets.
Anybody got any other ideas how we could invest our money more wisely?

Better ideas?

 

Anyone?

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I'm still catching up on the whole windfarm fiasco (sorry, should that be debate?) and own up to the fact I haven't had time yet to read the blurb online. As my TV reception is rubbish, no doubt I may attempt to read it within the next couple of weeks before the deadline.

 

However, at this stage, I'm swaying towards no.

 

Before I moved up here I did look at SIC Planning Department's guidelines on erecting those likkle and mini wind turbines and remembered reading something along the lines of that you couldn't have them positioned if the sun's rays were to reflect on the blades and affect motorists on nearby roads. Eh? How Viking got round that little diamond then?

 

I hope that democracy will prevail and, in the event Viking does go ahead (and I sincerely hope not), I reckon those of us who meet the SIC Planning Department's guidelines on the erection of likkle wind turbines (strong enough to survive the gales though) should have them installed free of charge by Viking (naturally providing our neighbours don't object). Blood money? Well, at least that way we won't be paying for their blooming electricity!

 

That said, I'm still pondering whether my idea in theory would work because I am concerned about the wildlife aspect of wind technology - I don't fancy being responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds a year.

 

Yours, a tad green (if you pardon the pun) on the wind energy scenario.

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... That said, I'm still pondering whether my idea in theory would work because I am concerned about the wildlife aspect of wind technology - I don't fancy being responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds a year.

I would suggest you start your research on the likely effects of climate change on your precious birds. :wink:

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... That said, I'm still pondering whether my idea in theory would work because I am concerned about the wildlife aspect of wind technology - I don't fancy being responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds a year.

I would suggest you start your research on the likely effects of climate change on your precious birds. :wink:

 

For the record, I'm not against wind power per se, but the sheer size and scale of what Viking propose, which appears at face value to go totally against EU Regulations and, dare I say it (does it still exist?) democracy.

 

I appreciate that alternatives to nuclear power, etc., should and must be found. The UK has a whole does very little to promote alternative sources of power - look at the designs of the new proposed school for one example. More should be done to facilitate alternative power at individual household level in my humble opinion, be it wind or solar.

 

They are not "my precious birds" - they don't belong to anyone but perhaps we all have a duty towards the planet and other living beings (apart from wasps because they are a right pain).

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So what would you suggest? Gambling with the money on the stock exchange? How long will the money last at current levels of spending anyway?

 

"It sounds extremely (and increasingly) high risk."

 

How so? The cost has gone up, but so has the return. Do you really expect energy prices to fall over the next thirty years? That's what would have to happen for this windfarm to be unprofitable.

 

Surely we should at least seek alternatives? If the Charitable Trust actively went out into the global enegy market and said ... we have £X million to invest in a sustainable energy/ partner project with community benefits I'm sure we would hear plenty of alternatives!! If not then there is something wrong with the idea in the first place.

 

Can we not stop and think now - rather than later. Unlike the AHS we won't be able to stop last minute and say - Hmmm, maybe we should think about the alternatives.

 

We have the land and the money to invest so it is not this or nothing, we are in a strong position and should not be pushed or scaremongered into this by VE/ SSE.

 

My understanding is that if the costs continue to grow and the project becomes beyond our means (the concern raised Tavish Scott and not denied by VE as far as I am aware?) then the ongoing community returns will reduce and could be nil. What will remain is planning permission for a huge windfarm that can be sold to any company for a one off price with no on going community benefit. How will the increasing costs result in increasing returns? they reflect spiraling capital costs.

 

I am not saying I can't be convinced this will work but on current information the financial risk (and environmental cost) does seem to be extremely high. We have only been given until the end of July to object so objection seems at the very least prudent. If it is such a go-er then this will not be the only planning application.

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