Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Friday, 2 November 2012

Friday 2 November

Quite a bright day with an occasional shower or two, but turning very cold after nightfall - we are just on or below freezing at the moment. We didn't manage more than 6C / 43F in the afternoon.

News came through that the interconnector is to be delayed by at least a year. The interconnector is a subsea high-voltage electricity cable, which is crucial for exporting power, generated by proposed renewable energy projects in the Isle of Lewis. These consist in the main of windfarms. Two are currently under construction, but reading the submission from power company SSE, it sounds as if they are gradually backing out of the idea. The cost has risen to a total of £775m, and the delay would augment the cost further. I'm not too unhappy with the idea of the interconnector never coming here, but others are crying wolf, claiming it would be the wrecking of the islands' economy.

I have been in Lewis 8 years this month, and over that period, windfarms have been talked about an awful lot. They were vaunted as the salvation for the employment problems here, with some rosey-eyed individuals thinking it would lead to the return of the diaspora to work in the local fabrication yard. Since then, the fabrication yard has operated more off than on, switching owners several times. Constructing a windfarm does generate jobs, but only for a limited period of time. The Pentland Road windfarm has had its wind turbine components fabricated elsewhere, as they were shipped in earlier this week from another factory. And if the interconnector never materialises, then many millions of pounds will have been wasted.

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