No, Dr Wills, as far as I am concerned this is not ‘End of story’. (End of story? SN, 09/02/15). It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
If the Viking wind farm goes ahead it will certainly be the end of the Shetland Charitable Trust if they try to part-finance this doomed project.
In November 2011 Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Charitable Trust signed a partnership agreement with Vattenfall on the back of the proposal by Aegir Wave Power Ltd to develop a wave farm in the Burra Haaf.
This commitment was made by the SIC and the SCT despite the fact that no (even remotely) successful wave farm technology existed or had ever been tested in extreme wave conditions.
This commitment was made despite the fact the development of a Burra Haaf wave farm would have required many thousands of litres of toxic oil to be moored downstream of salmon and mussel farms. Despite this, the Aegir project was presented to Shetland as marvellous supplement to the Viking wind farm.
It came as no surprise to me that Pelamis Wave Power, one of the partners in Aegir, went bust last year (Shetland wave farm plans fade; SN, 25/11/2014).
It is no surprise now that Vattenfall are finally pulling the plug on this failed company, purely because subsidy or prospect of subsidy has gone (Shetland wave farm plans go under; SN, 06/02/2014).
Once again the judgement of those in the SIC and the SCT behind the decision to sign up to this, just one in a long line of doomed projects in Shetland, has to be called into question.
The Viking project is a badly planned project. Shetland Islands Council planning department spent two years deciding that this was not an appropriate project for Shetland. Despite this, our councillors and trustees are determined to press on regardless of this expert analysis or of public opinion.
I think I know enough about Shetland’s meteorology, hydrology and topography to make a reasoned judgement about the likely risks posed by the Viking wind farm to people and property. I can read and understand well researched papers and articles on health effects to people living in proximity to wind farms elsewhere.
I believe that the Viking project is not only badly planned in this respect, but has also been deliberately presented in such a way as to mislead the trustees of the SCT as well as the Shetland public.
I make no apology for continuing to protest against the Viking project for as long as I believe that this is a bad and dangerous project. If the wind farm is built, and my worst fears to lives and property realised, I will be first in the queue to give evidence in a criminal court against any directors of Viking Energy or SCT trustees deemed to be responsible.
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