Yell tidal generator parts arrive

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Work in Yell on what is believed to be the first community-owned tidal generator is gathering pace.

All the component parts neces­sary for the long-anticipated 30 kilowatt generator – the equivalent of 10 kettles – have arrived in the isle.

It is hoped a workboat will be on site within a week to help install the huge machine in Bluemull Sound.

Members of the North Yell Development Council, the com­munity group behind the project, are waiting for a suitable weather window to have the generator installed in the seabed.

Once up and running it will provide power for the ice plant in Cullivoe, and any surplus energy created will be sold to the main grid.

Project manager Colin Dickie said the structure would soon be in place, as long as the weather plays fair.

“All the parts are now here so we’re just waiting on everything to be bolted together,” Mr Dickie said. “We need a weather window for the work boat to come up and deploy the machine.

“We’re hopeful most of the power will go direct to the ice plant when it’s being used – but at times when the ice plant is not being used it will transfer power onto the local grid, so either way the community will earn a modest income from the sale of electricity. We are delighted that it’s here and we’re keen to get it in the sea and see how it does.”

Plans had been hatched to transport the machine by barge from the central belt. But poor weather over the winter led to a decision to break it down, allowing it to be taken in parts to Yell by lorry.

“The main turbine has been in Leith and the supporting structure has been in Renfrew,” Mr Dickie said. “The base unit was all in one piece and it was originally planned that that would be shipped by sea.

“But with the weather we’ve had it was decided we would cut the base unit into pieces and take it up by truck. That’s been done. It just needs to be bolted back together again. It made sense to do it that way.”

News of the generator emerged last May when the North Yell Development Council was offered a grid connection which could pave the way for a new locally-owned windfarm.

Since then community leaders have been rubbing their hands at the prospect of £1.3 million worth of electricity being sold annually to the National Grid through the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) NINES smart grid project.

That is the kind of deal that could be possible once the five 900 kilowatt turbines are in place at the site between Basta Voe and Gloup.

Development council chairman Robert Henderson said talks with banks were progressing to secure the £6 million needed to connect to the National Grid by May next year.

“At the end of the day it will be down to the bank coming up with the best package. We are not looking for banks to help other as a straight-forward loan,” Mr Henderson said.

Mr Dickie said the project still looked “very positive”, despite not being quite as far on as had initially been anticipated. Construction should progress from the summer on.

“We’ve got a connection date of May 2015, so that’s either then or very shortly after then we will be selling our first electricity,” Mr Dickie added. 

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a reporter at The Shetland Times

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2 comments

  1. Charles Banham

    Community Projects are supposed to benefit the Community – first and foremost!
    I am a permanent resident of North Yell (Cullivoe) and I am incensed to discover that the new wind farm electricity will be sold to the National Grid at a knock-down wholesale rate, and then in turn, us in North Yell will have to buy back that same electricity at staggeringly inflated rates, that, ironically, include the cost of delivering energy to our homes?
    Yes, there will be some income from this for the community, but just a pittance. Just how could we spend this income? someone mentioned a new local school in Cullivoe (perhaps another AHS vanity project? what a joke) we already pay TAXES – lots of them for governments to build and maintain these facilities
    Should not the electricity produced locally be used to directly supply the homes and business in Yell at reasonable rates, then and only then, any excess be sold to the National Grid?

    Something is badly wrong with the entire thinking process when once again Big Business, in this case SSE, already have a monopoly in our islands but still want to squeeze even more out of us?

    On another note, but somewhat related….
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful for us Shetlander’s & Scots to have complete and utter autonomy and control of our own destiny?
    What we have now is utter chaos, a Westminster Government that year-on-year is spending more than £100bn annually than it is taking in taxes and revenue. And this is being added to the National Debt that as of today is in excess of £1.3 TRILLION. It is conservatively estimated that by 2018 the National Debt will be in excess of £1.8 TRILLION – a staggering amount that cannot, realistically EVER be repaid. What a poor legacy we are leaving to future generations to be burdened with?
    Scotland on the other hand.. operates very well, considering the meagre hand-out that we are ‘given’ and can still freeze the council tax, give us free bus passes, free prescriptions, fee tuition and free care for the elderly for those that really need it.
    And let us not forget that the WESTMINSTER government cuts are only 40% complete. The are more to come. Much more – and all of us will suffer – big-time.
    except, of course the ‘untouchables’ like Bankers and big business multi-nationals who do NOT pay enough (or any at all) UK taxes
    WE in Shetland/Scotland have about 67 Scottish MP’s at Westminster, all of which, if the ‘YES’ vote prevails, will lose their jobs, so no wonder they are united in their desperation for a ‘NO’ vote
    Oh, irony in the extreme… imagine, MP’s from 3 different parties actually agreeing on something? that has to be a first. I am sure that it will be the last!
    Sad though, that not one of them can give us an honest and solid reason for us to remain in the UK – all they can do is scaremongering and tell fibs, things like ‘Your Pensions are at risk’ or ‘you will lose all of your favourite TV shows’ and ‘you cannot keep the pound’ Balderdash!

    Truth is, Shetland/Scotland can and will survive and eventually thrive on its own, particularly with the North Sea Oil Revenue, which only this week was confirmed that there will be an EXTRA £20bn worth of revenue over the next 20 years. (Where has all that oil revenue taken by the UK over the last 34 years gone? Well, it has gone into a black hole – never to be seen again!)
    On top of the oil revenue (90% of which would come to Scotland after independence) Scotland has rightful and legitimate claim to it’s per-capita share of ALL UK assets (yes, including The Bank Of England)
    Regardless, it may not be an easy road ahead for an Independent Shetland/Scotland, there will be problems, there will be hurdles and there will be resistance from UK government after a ‘YES’ vote during the delicate but crucial negotiations in slicing up the ‘pie’ so that we get our fair share. Alex Salmond, Like or Dislike him personally it won’t matter – there is no doubt that he has and always will put his people and his country first. THAT is why Cameron will not debate the referendum with Alex Salmond (Imagine… A Conservative PM asking a Labour MP to debate for him?) – would you ever have seen Winston Churchill doing that?

    Don’t believe all of the scaremongering and negative threats from the ‘NO’ campaign, all they can come up with is that ‘We Are Better Together’ but no real and honest reasons why – truly pathetic when successive governments over the last 60 years have bankrupted and corrupted what was, in essence once a great country And now, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer while Cameron and his ilk ‘pat the bankers on the back’ congratulating them on the great job they are doing (not!)

    And just why are the ‘NO’ campaign trying so hard to make us vote ‘NO’?
    The answer, I believe is quite simple, it is a cocktail of self-preservation, fear of the unknown and privately admitting to themselves that their own political system that THEY have destroyed cannot be repaired.
    This, after 60 years of inept and incompetent governments that have been given our trust, our votes and out hard earned money? They have broken our trust, they have squandered our money.
    None of them, and I mean all UK politicians, have had chance after chance and have failed miserably. And we pay the price. They are not now and were never ‘fit for purpose’ It is time to cleanse, it is time for radical change
    Stand Tall For Scotland/ Shetland. In my honest opinion Voting ‘Yes’ is the only logical option
    Thank you for reading – your comments will be appreciated

    Reply
  2. Scott Gray

    Charles you are totally mistaken Scotland cannot afford to go independent and all the promises of the SNP leadership are lies to get the vote they want and only then will they come clean and have to make the cuts to prescription charges education and increase taxes. I don’t believe a word of that they say and it has become abundantly clear they have no answer on the pound and EU question apart from reverting to their default position of playing the poor downtrodden country bullied by the vile English. Any Scot with any sense will vote no

    Reply

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