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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Lewis Windpower has announced that it has downsized the proposed North Lewis Windfarm to 181 turbines. This is a further reduction from the original size, as mooted in 2004, of 234 turbines. Consultation is presently scheduled to take place over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The public buildings where the documents pertaining to the proposals are located will be closed for much of the time. An extension to the consultation period is being sought.

Above map is taken from the BBC Scotland newsreport. and shows (in blue) the turbines that have now been deleted from the LWP plans.

I was shocked to hear the MSP for the Western Isles taking a stance in favour of this major development, whereas there is a sizeable proportion of islanders who are opposed. This percentage runs at anywhere between 50 and 80% The MSP has claimed that a certain number of turbines are needed to justify the inter- connector, a big word for subsea electricity transmission cable to the mainland. It sounds as if the islands are not properly represented at Holyrood, if the MSP is not prepared to stand up for the majority of his constituents in Lewis, who don't want this windfarm.

Secondly, the Keighley, Yorkshire, based businessman John Haggas has taken over the Harris Tweed industry, or at least 95% of it, with a view to reinvigorate it. The Shawbost mill, part of the KM Group, is earmarked for closure. The Parkend mill is also part of the deal, reportedly.
Harris Tweed can only be called such if its manufacturing processes wholly take place in the Outer Hebrides, and are subject to the Orb trademark requirements.
The industry has been in the doldrums for ten years, following its implosion in the 1990s. I sincerely hope that Mr Haggas will put the Harris Tweed industry back where it belongs: as a major industry for the Outer Hebrides, with a firm, community backed weaving base.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 17:37


A lame performance by a nervous Alasdair Morrison on Newsnight. When the interviewer asked him if the interconnector to Lewis would be a public project, he replied "Yes, a public project...pause...a public-private project...pause...what we really need is some clarity on this issue..." Oh dear. And whoever he was 'representing', it certainly wasn't the majority of islanders. I was glad to see however that the accompanying quick clips of computer-generated graphics from the 'Coast' programme shown recently presented the turbines in something approaching their TRUE scale in the landscape, as opposed to the Noddy pictures in the Amec application. It was not pretty.

Colin Oscapaidh from Lewis

Love the name Colin - very medical

calumannabel md from Holby House Habost

If you log on the the Lewis Wind Power website,, you can see the wind farm visuals. Just click on the button wind farm visuals, then interactive map. The pictures are taken against a white sky, completely obliterating any sign of the turbines, which of course are also white. How many white sky days do we get on Lewis? Just how stupid do they think we are? When I was up The Clisham the other day (see Back of Beyond) I could see the two new turbines near Stornoway quite easily from the top and it was a cloudy, hazy day. And as Arnish points out, they have chosen to put in this new application over the holiday time, which will conveniently take up 2 weeks of the 28 day objection period. The papers are full of the 3 million per year that the islands would get and that some turbines would be owned locally, but this is peanuts compared to what they are making from it. As for creating jobs - the proposed marine national park would create more permanent jobs, and increase revenue from tourism, but that idea has just been rejected completely out of hand by the councillors, who seem determined to ruin the place, by hook or by crook!

BoB from Lewis

Read this week's [December 14th] Stornoway Gazette, which is full of vituperation against the size and scale of the North Lewis windfarm.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

how is this power transported from wind turbine to wherever it goes? apparently it is cheaper to use pylons (yuk) than put cables underground. will there be a mass of pylons too?

scallowawife from shetland

Yes, there will be pylons, conveniently left out of all the 'see, you'll never even notice them' pictures!

BoB from Lewis

Indeed, plenty of pylons...and not forgetting the 104 miles of rough road (using 4 million tonnes of rock from quarries, oops, I mean 'borrow pits'), anemometer masts, control building, nine substations, etc, most of which the graphics in the AMEC application simply don't show.

Colin Oscapaidh from Lewis

can anyone tell me about Camcal is Alasdair Morrison involved in this company? Would it manufacture the proposed turbines for Lewis? How much public money has gone in to this company? Does Vestas provide work for Arnish?

wee puddock from mainland

Wee Puddock: Don't think AM is involved in Camcal, as was. The Arnish Yard was mooted as one of the places where the turbines for the Lewis Windfarms would be made. And it has received £16m in public money, yet has gone bust twice.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

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