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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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I agree that any debate is better than no debate at all, but an ill informed debate can be detrimental. When the imfamous red dots appeared with the Shetland times that week, there was a collective sharp intake of breath all over the island. The map caught everybody's eye and first impressions last.

 

Nothing has been decided, nothing is set in stone and yet people will think that every single one of those red dots will be replaced with a 450 foot wind turbine. Which is just wrong.

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Nothing has been decided, nothing is set in stone and yet people will think that every single one of those red dots will be replaced with a 450 foot wind turbine. Which is just wrong.

Your word into the Lord's ear ;-), Sudden Stop, but do people have a different chance to see it like they do, if they take that seriously what was released to the press?

 

note on map[/u]"]The potential turbine locations shown have been identified following study and analysis of the existing environmental conditions. The access tracks shown are indicative only. Full details will be developed and presented once a final layout has been decided.
Something different than

- turbine locations have been identified

- tracks are indicative

- details (how to draw the lines linking the dots) later!?

 

It is a simple message and people take it that simple.

It is not so much a problem of information vs no information, it is more a problem of how to inform and how to deal with the response ...

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I would put my last fiver that these people are not personally investing over 500k each.

 

Let’s wait until we have got at least a couple more milestones out the road and determine exactly whether the project will actually proceed before we worry too much about who is paying how much. If we get that far it is fair to say that the project instigators would indeed be ‘exceptionally confident’ about the financial viability of this project and would be willing to invest considerable sums.

 

Appologies for going on about this, but it does now sound like SIC are paying, and maybe if it gets off the ground the Burradale boys have their share (maybe without actually having to invest anything)?. The reply would also seem to indicate that future investment may not be equal to the shareholding?.

 

Maybe David can confirm a couple of points, before I crawl away back under my stone?

 

1. Are all the shareholders paying their own way, in accordance with their respective shareholdings for all development costs of the project from conception to the point of actual turn out of the turbines. I.e consultation costs, EIA, bird surveys etc. I think the development figure quoted was around £1 million?

 

2. Are you currently providing loans for these development costs, is the company running on overdraft or is SIC paying?

 

3. Will all the shareholders be paying their own way and raising their own respective investments, and guaranteeing the debt equally with the final development costs.

 

4. Can we all get a chance to buy some shares, if not, why not? Maybe we collectively would be able to raise more money, build more turbines and create more wealth?

 

Sorry for being a pain here David, but I am sure it will do Viking Energy the world of good when the public know that all is above board and that each of the shareholders are all investing equally.

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There are bits of this that need clarification. Because we have a regulated electricity industry and the regulator’s primary role is to protect the consumer then we would not get sanction for a cable that was bigger then necessary. If the spare capacity was not used it would be an expense picked up by the UK consumer with no benefit. So the cable has to match the windfarm*2. If future projects come along that want to sell large amounts of electricity to the national grid then they would need to justify more strands to the cable or a new cable altogether. Given Shetland’s marine energy potential this is not unreasonable. The cable actually encourages local development because right now the local grid can’t handle any more. The cable makes us part of the national grid and so small local projects can be connected easier*1.

 

*1 So does this mean that the other projects currently in the planning stage, south of Quarff for instance, will be able to sell to the grid through any spare capacity available at any given time through the interconnector, but perhaps not at peak conditions as there would be, going by *2 no spare capacity at times of VE peak production. This seems slightly contradictory to me, although your clarification is helping.

 

I have the utmost respect for this project and admiration for the perspicuity of your debate and consultation process. Thank you for your time and efforts toward us all. :wink:

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THX David, for clearing some points and pinpointing your personal view to some others.

Output figures for wind turbines might not be the best but they are at least controlable and offer a chance to optimize the whole systems in a lot of cases and details.

Nevertheless, there are some things which have to be questioned in a critical way. In one of your previous statements you said:

The Environmental Impact Assessment in particular cannot be produced until we fix a turbine layout. The 192 red (now green) dots published are not a turbine layout.

I do hope it is a "problem of chosing the right words only" but if the existing layout is not the layout where you want to place the turbines according to your best knowledge up to now, you must not wonder if some parts of the public might claim the position "he is joking about us". To let the folks discuss it now and then telling them about six month later … buhbuh – it's all looking different … must fire any position telling the rest of Shetland "it's all a fake" to cool down emotions.

Despite of that, the quote is in conflict with some statements published on the VE website so far where you create an image that the reports concerned are just due for publication … ;-)

 

Hi,

I can see that some might indeed suspect we are merely 'softening' people up for a later design but that is not the intention. We identified every possible site across the site (192 of them) and rather than pick our favourites, we put the whole lot out for public comment. We will use the feedback from the consultation process to determine the next design. It's similar to the early uninformed debate vs late informed debate question. If we want people to have a genuine say in the design development we have to show them everything even if that includes possible locations that will never be actually used.

The reports are at at holding stage and can only be completed after the design fix. We'd have liked to have been further than this by now but the decision was to make sure the public consultation was full and valid before moving to the next steps. The website is a victim of our efforts to cover everything as I have struggled to have time to make sure every page is totally up-to-date.

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Apologies for going on about this, but it does now sound like SIC are paying, and maybe if it gets off the ground the Burradale boys have their share (maybe without actually having to invest anything)?. The reply would also seem to indicate that future investment may not be equal to the shareholding?.

Maybe David can confirm a couple of points, before I crawl away back under my stone?

1. Are all the shareholders paying their own way, in accordance with their respective shareholdings for all development costs of the project from conception to the point of actual turn out of the turbines. I.e consultation costs, EIA, bird surveys etc. I think the development figure quoted was around £1 million?

2. Are you currently providing loans for these development costs, is the company running on overdraft or is SIC paying?

3. Will all the shareholders be paying their own way and raising their own respective investments, and guaranteeing the debt equally with the final development costs.

4. Can we all get a chance to buy some shares, if not, why not? Maybe we collectively would be able to raise more money, build more turbines and create more wealth?

Sorry for being a pain here David, but I am sure it will do Viking Energy the world of good when the public know that all is above board and that each of the shareholders are all investing equally.

 

Hi,

1. All shareholders have to pay their way in accurate accordance with shareholding. This counts for the development stage, the construction phase and the operation phase. It is expected the Shetland side of the partnership will need to fund around £1m by the time of any Planning Consent.

2 and 3. I'm not really prepared to discuss my personal finances or how I (and others) meet our share of the development costs but I can reassure you no-one is getting anything for free, all shareholders will have to pay their own way, covering all debt proportionally. The company is not in overdraft. As has been noted the equity currently remains at £1,000 so current costs (bird studies etc) are by loans and in-kind contributions. If we get to later stages the investment will be equity based and no-one will get a shareholding they did not pay for.

4. I don't know. Best to be honest. The possibility of open public investment in Viking Energy has been discussed at various stages and at the moment the Council position is that it is going to wait until we have gone through the development process and determined if there is a viable project to be invested in before answering that question. I am optimistic that it will eventually be something Viking Energy does but I cannot guarantee it. I do however recommend that you submit to Viking Energy as part of the public consultation process that (presuming you are not totally opposed to the idea) this is something you would like to see. If you don't officially say so then Viking Energy can't really react.

Not a pain at all. There is no difficulty clarifying that the investments will be pro-rata to shareholding.

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*1 So does this mean that the other projects currently in the planning stage, south of Quarff for instance, will be able to sell to the grid through any spare capacity available at any given time through the interconnector, but perhaps not at peak conditions as there would be, going by *2 no spare capacity at times of VE peak production. This seems slightly contradictory to me, although your clarification is helping.

I have the utmost respect for this project and admiration for the perspicuity of your debate and consultation process. Thank you for your time and efforts toward us all. :wink:

 

Hi,

Correct. The connection agreements for those projects would be very clear about how 'firm' the output would be - meaning if there would ever be any times that they would be constrained to avoid problems. Those projects would be more about the local supply so the use of the cable probably wouldn't be a crucial factor. It's more about the ability of the local system to deal with intermittent sources. At the moment that's a problem but with a cable the local system can use the stability of the national grid to help take more local stuff than it can just now.

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Apologies for going on about this, but it does now sound like SIC are paying, and maybe if it gets off the ground the Burradale boys have their share (maybe without actually having to invest anything)?. The reply would also seem to indicate that future investment may not be equal to the shareholding?.

Maybe David can confirm a couple of points, before I crawl away back under my stone?

1. Are all the shareholders paying their own way, in accordance with their respective shareholdings for all development costs of the project from conception to the point of actual turn out of the turbines. I.e consultation costs, EIA, bird surveys etc. I think the development figure quoted was around £1 million?

2. Are you currently providing loans for these development costs, is the company running on overdraft or is SIC paying?

3. Will all the shareholders be paying their own way and raising their own respective investments, and guaranteeing the debt equally with the final development costs.

4. Can we all get a chance to buy some shares, if not, why not? Maybe we collectively would be able to raise more money, build more turbines and create more wealth?

Sorry for being a pain here David, but I am sure it will do Viking Energy the world of good when the public know that all is above board and that each of the shareholders are all investing equally.

 

Hi,

1. All shareholders have to pay their way in accurate accordance with shareholding. This counts for the development stage, the construction phase and the operation phase. It is expected the Shetland side of the partnership will need to fund around £1m by the time of any Planning Consent.

2 and 3. I'm not really prepared to discuss my personal finances or how I (and others) meet our share of the development costs but I can reassure you no-one is getting anything for free, all shareholders will have to pay their own way, covering all debt proportionally. The company is not in overdraft. As has been noted the equity currently remains at £1,000 so current costs (bird studies etc) are by loans and in-kind contributions. If we get to later stages the investment will be equity based and no-one will get a shareholding they did not pay for.

4. I don't know. Best to be honest. The possibility of open public investment in Viking Energy has been discussed at various stages and at the moment the Council position is that it is going to wait until we have gone through the development process and determined if there is a viable project to be invested in before answering that question. I am optimistic that it will eventually be something Viking Energy does but I cannot guarantee it. I do however recommend that you submit to Viking Energy as part of the public consultation process that (presuming you are not totally opposed to the idea) this is something you would like to see. If you don't officially say so then Viking Energy can't really react.

Not a pain at all. There is no difficulty clarifying that the investments will be pro-rata to shareholding.

 

Thanks for clarifying this all, David.

 

All the best with your venture, hope you get your loans back if it doesn't go ahead!

 

Kind regards Caeser

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Interesting article in Sunday Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/08/nbook08.xml

Particularly interesting is the amount of opposition to the Lewis windfarm proposal. In spite of what VE say about environmental considerations and how their plans are so much better I feel that both proposals are quite similar.

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Not a pain at all. There is no difficulty clarifying that the investments will be pro-rata to shareholding.

 

Ok, that sounds fair, however you manage to raise the investment capital. But, if for any reason the project does not go ahead will you personally lose 25K? Or is the "Shetland side of the partnership" funded solely by the SIC so far?

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Not a pain at all. There is no difficulty clarifying that the investments will be pro-rata to shareholding.

 

Ok, that sounds fair, however you manage to raise the investment capital. But, if for any reason the project does not go ahead will you personally lose 25K? Or is the "Shetland side of the partnership" funded solely by the SIC so far?

 

Difficult to answer that without going into my personal finances. Perhaps if you contacted me direct?

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Interesting article in Sunday Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/08/nbook08.xml

Particularly interesting is the amount of opposition to the Lewis windfarm proposal. In spite of what VE say about environmental considerations and how their plans are so much better I feel that both proposals are quite similar.

 

They are very similar. Both projects propose to build large windfarms on Scottish Islands. While I could repeat the substantial differences, mainly local involvement, a small difference worthy of note is that depite what the letters in the local media keep repeating, the Shetland project is not the largest windfarm in the world. Even if there weren't much bigger proposals in America, the Lewis project is also bigger. Sir Robert Smith did note that if taken forward the Viking Windfarm could be the windfarm with the highest value of community ownership (in the world).

I don't worry too much about what Mr Booker says. He is a commentator not a reporter so his column is not bound by having to report on facts with any accuracy like most journalists would hopefully aim for. The only bit where I would try to explain his half-truth is the bit about having to keep other power stations 'running'. There will always have to be other ways to meet the national demand but every unit of electricity produced in the windfarm will be a unit of electricity that does not have to be produced at another power station. As the amount of wind energy on the national system increases towards 20% of total generation (a long way off), other stations may not be able to be switched off but there is a big difference between 'running' at idle and 'running' at full output. There is another weak argument that power stations running to be ready for when the wind dies are less efficient than when at full power so are somehow producing more pollution and being more dirty which gets repeated a lot. If you need one hundred lumps of coal to keep a power station at full power for an hour and only one lump of coal to keep it idling for an hour (not real figures obviously) then it doesn't matter if the idling coal is 1, 2 or even 5% dirtier than the coal being used at full power. There is still a massive reduction in pollution.

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Not a pain at all. There is no difficulty clarifying that the investments will be pro-rata to shareholding.

 

Ok, that sounds fair, however you manage to raise the investment capital. But, if for any reason the project does not go ahead will you personally lose 25K? Or is the "Shetland side of the partnership" funded solely by the SIC so far?

 

Difficult to answer that without going into my personal finances. Perhaps if you contacted me direct?

 

Was just looking for clarification for your use of the "Shetland side of the partnership" really, your personal finances are none of my business and I commend you for the frank and open dialogue which you have posted here so far. Personally I'm slightly opposed to the project, purely because of the huge scale, but if it does go ahead I wish you the best of luck and hope you will invest your fortune wisely! :lol:

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(** mod edit - taken from a new (locked) thread **)

 

I have just found out, and excuse me if this subject has been discussed somewhere else, but the interconnector which is being discussed for the Viking energy project will be limited to VE electricity only.

 

THERE WILL BE NO SPARE CAPACITY FOR THIRD PARTIES!!

 

This off course means that any of the smaller independent business ideas, Yell wind farm etc are doomed as there is no where to put the power. Any thoughts of other projects whether wind, tidal or otherwise can be put back on the shelf and forgotten about.

 

Here was me considering investing in a (small - if thats' possible!) wind turbine project which would serve my own and a few houses near by with any surplus being sold into the electricity grid.

 

No possible and definately not economic now!!

 

I would suggest that a far better way of investing £500 million in an exclusive cable for Viking Energy (and Shetland Aerogenerators Ltd excess power - whoops did I say that), would be to either set up a huge research centre for energy storage, or expand the PURE project in Unst.

 

Think what a few scientist could do with £500 million!!

 

Unst needs all the help it can get.

 

How about the University of Unst. - Renewable energy engineering centre of the world?

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...the interconnector which is being discussed for the Viking energy project will be limited to VE electricity only.

 

THERE WILL BE NO SPARE CAPACITY FOR THIRD PARTIES!!

 

This off course means that any of the smaller independent business ideas, Yell wind farm etc are doomed as there is no where to put the power.

 

Good.

 

The VE project will have more than enough windmills for Shetland. Any other windfarms will no doubt be purely people jumping on the bandwagon trying to line their own pockets.

 

The VE project will be kept as compact as is resonably practical and will minimise the visual problem. I fear the day that ever community has someone it that has built a windfarm to make profit for themselves.

 

I'm in favour of the VE project but if there plans cropping up to spread little windfarms all over the place like mussle/salmon farms I might end up on Stuart Dobsons side...

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  • admin changed the title to Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy

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