Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / No confidence in wind turbines and interconnectors

It comes as no surprise that the SIC should strongly back SSE’s calls for an inter-connector to Shetland and the associated wind farm developments that could follow.

Ever since the SIC and SSE signed the original Viking Energy partnership agreement it has been clear where the SIC sympathies lie. Certainly not with the many residents who are going to have to live with nightmare projects like Viking Energy.

It is high time that the current crop of councillors at least had a proper debate about any inter-connector and its implications before issuing such messages of support.

It must be noted that the spokesperson for the SIC on this was Alastair Cooper, ex-director of Viking Energy. No conflict of interest there?  It is also of no surprise that the SIC are enthusiastic about the oil and gas industry’s rather bizarre notion to power their installations using renewable energy, possibly from wind turbines situated on land. (Decarbonising Shetland’s oil industry; SN, 19 December 2019)

However, such installations require security of supply and that can never be provided by wind energy.

Also a move to renewable energy would be likely to entail very high costs and an industry that is very cost conscious might be unlikely to take it further once the costs are known.

Floating wind turbines near to installations might be a more feasible method for providing power for them. Offshore wind has a much more reliable power supply profile than onshore wind. The number of relatively calm days in recent months here does not inspire confidence in secure energy supply from onshore wind turbines.

It is looking as though the future of the ill-starred Viking Energy project could well be decided during the coming year.

Sustainable Shetland remains hopeful that Shetland may be spared from the environmental disaster that it could turn out to be. Also, we must hope that satisfactory arrangements are made for Shetland to have a secure energy supply into the future. Wind turbines and interconnectors do not inspire confidence.

Frank Hay
Sustainable Shetland