24th April 2019
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Shetland Wind Power founder to start new firm after venture capitalist owners pull plug

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The founder of Shetland Wind Power, which went into administration on Friday, is to start up a new operation looking after the needs of the company’s turbine customers in the islands.

Michael Anderson from Hoswick is stepping in to buy back some of the assets of his old company which he sold to Glasgow private equity investors Nevis Capital last year.

It has emerged that other parts of Shetland Wind Power, including its new turbine orders and customer inquiry list, were bought on Friday by the Ayrshire-based renewables firm VG Energy. The rest of the company’s assets and affairs were then placed in administration with accountants KPMG.

The deals were only revealed today, four days on. Despite the new arrangements, customers who bought turbines through Wind Power will not have their warranties honoured or be able to get free servicing or new parts.

The new Wind Power customers taken on by VG are likely to be offered an American-made Xzeres turbine instead of the Proven Energy machines originally intended for supply.

About a dozen people were made redundant on Friday when Shetland Wind Power went into administration but most of them worked in the Glasgow operation and are being redeployed in other Nevis Capital businesses. The Shetland operation, at the SBS Base, had been scaled down in recent months.

Nevis Capital’s failure to succeed in expanding Shetland Wind Power after buying it in a multi-million pound deal last December has been blamed largely on the demise of Proven, which supplied its turbines until it went bust in September.

A rival turbine installer Icon Energy was also dragged under by Proven.

But Shetland Wind Power has experienced a number of other major difficulties in its UK operation including a drop in business due to the end of grant-aided community turbines and unexpected delays getting turbine applications through the local authority planning process.

The volume of permissions for turbines coming through the system has been as little as one-third of what the small-scale wind sector anticipated. Brian Aitken of Nevis Capital said that had been “a massive issue” for the industry.

It is also understood that Shetland Wind Power was losing money on installing turbines in Shetland, due partly to the lack of electricity grid connections. Scottish and Southern Energy closed the grid to more wind power due to being unable to handle the fluctuating power load.

Mr Aitken believed VG Energy would be in a better position than Nevis to drive the Shetland Wind Power business forward at a time of consolidation in the small renewables sector, which he said Nevis did not have “the appetite” for.

VG essentially left behind the bits of Shetland Wind Power that it did not want, which were then put through the process of administration. Mr Aitken said Mr Anderson was stepping in to buy some of the assets of the company he started 18 years ago because he wanted to try to support the local customers as best he could.

Mr Anderson had continued with Shetland Wind Power as its technical director and retained a minor shareholding.

Commenting on the deal with VG, Mr Aitken said: “It is far from being a perfect situation but we have tried to get the best result we could for customers – not for Nevis, not for Michael.”

VG managing director Jim Paterson said his company was “delighted” to acquire one of the longest-standing players in the renewables sector. He said VG was the number one renewable energy company in the UK and “in a strong position” to offer a range of products and services to the customer base of Shetland Wind Power.

Around 30 community groups in Shetland and about the same number of companies and private individuals already have turbines installed by Shetland Wind Power, mainly models made by Proven. With the manufacturer and supplier now both out of business their warranties are worthless but the hope now is that at least they will be able to call on Mr Anderson for repairs and servicing.

Wind Power also installed machines in Shetland made by Westwind and Evance, both of which are still in business.

News of Shetland Wind Power’s demise was first circulated by Community Energy Scotland’s team in Weisdale. The organisation has been involved in assisting groups in Shetland to get turbines, mainly the Proven 11 model which is fitted to Lunnasting and Urafirth schools, youth and heritage centres and community halls.

CES development officer Jennifer Nicolson said her organisation was keeping a watching brief on the events surrounding Shetland Wind Power and would keep community groups informed of developments.

Already the owners of at least seven of the biggest Proven machine, the ill-fated P35-2, have been waiting for help for two months after being forced to stop their machines due to a safety flaw, costing them considerable income from subsidy and selling their power.

Sandwick Social Club has been losing out on around £1,000 a month in subsidy on its P35-2 while hoping Shetland Wind Power could arrange a repair or a swap for an alternative make of turbine. But now the club’s predicament is worse. Chairman Neville Martin said: “Basically we are left with a load of junk standing there!”

The P35-2 was Proven’s biggest turbine model and its flagship machine until a catastrophic mechanical fault resulted in incidents of blades and the rotor head flying off.

After Proven’s financial backers pulled out and put it into receivership it was snapped up by Irish multinational Kingspan, which washed its hands of Proven’s customers and discontinued the P35-2.

It has recently relaunched the two smaller turbines under its own brand names, which should ensure that spare parts continue to be available.

Confidence in the small wind sector has been badly damaged by the three major business collapses of the past two months. Shetland Wind Power’s demise came just days before Shetland hosts its first conference and exhibition on renewables.

Dynamic Shetland on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th November will bring together over 160 people involved mainly in wind, wave and tidal power to discuss exploiting the islands’ free energy sources.

Crofters Commission convener Drew Ratter said this week wind turbines represented one of the greatest opportunities ever seen for crofters. He viewed the loss of Shetland Wind Power as “very damaging” and said he hoped the situation would be sorted out.

Sandwick Social Club had a six-year struggle with Proven to get a working turbine and the experience may have put paid to its members’ interest in wind energy. Mr Martin said his committee was meeting on Sunday to decide a way ahead. He said: “Will we bother to see about putting another turbine? They maybe won’t be that bothered after having their fingers burnt.”

He added: “I think people need to be very wary of investing money. You are spending a lot of money up front. Things can go wrong with wind whereas with other renewables maybe things are less risky.”


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  1. ian tinkler

    To discuss exploiting the islands’ FREE ENERGY sources!!! Dynamic Shetland will bring together about 150 people involved mainly in wind, wave and tidal power to discuss exploiting the islands’ free energy sources. When will people realize there is nothing free about green energy? Without huge subsidy costing the public dearly, it would be unsustainable. Just look at real people and communities being hurt by Proven failing. Next in line, The Charitable Trust and all Shetland when Viking Energy follows into receivership. It surely must and will if Salmond takes Scotland out of the Union and the subsidies all stop.

  2. Gordon Harmer

    Ian your arguments are a constant source of amusement to me, its not that long ago you were advocating that the way forward was for every croft in Shetland to have one of these failed turbines. Now you are comparing them with the Viking project when there is clearly no comparison. You also miss what is meant in the above article of course wind and wave power is free as you don’t have to buy coal or oil to turn them you use the wind or waves which are both free. It is also a source of amusement to me how you so very conveniently forget about Burradale and how successful it is. I have come to the conclusion that your arguments are those of Shetlands biggest asininestein.

  3. ian tinkler

    In response to Gordon, I am glad he is amused by my letter. I am, sadly, however quite certain those hurt by the failure of the Proven turbine do not share his amusement. Hopefully, Michael Anderson, the founder of Shetland Wind power, will be successful in salvaging his old company and in this I wish him every success. This, as I previously urged, this may be a good time for “The Charitable Trust” to help, before they squander what is left of their funds on their Viking idiocy. Of course, Gordon, the wind and the waves are free, just as coal, gas and oil are free, when in the ground. The expense comes in harnessing their latent energy and converting that to usable power, usually electricity. It is unfortunately eye wateringly expensive converting wind and wave into electricity. The mining, drilling and refining coal, gas and oil and converting their power into electricity is a far more cost effective process. Without massive state subsidy, wind farms, such as, Viking and Burradale would not be viable and become bankrupt. The point I was trying to make was that if Salmond takes Scotland out of the Union all these subsidies will stop or have to be greatly reduced. At present the cost of subsidy is borne by the 60 million population of the UK, with independence for Scotland, 6 million Scotts would have to pay the subsidies alone, approximately £900 extra on their electricity bills. The electricity produced would be the most expensive in Europe and not easy for Scotland to sell. I for one have trouble finding that prospect amusing. Incidentally Gordon, what is an ” asininestein “? Is this just one of your puerile and childish insults?

  4. Gordon Harmer

    Ian, in the UK there is antipathy to wind farms, and the subsidies without which many would be unviable and I emphasise ‘many’ would be unviable but not a wind farm in Shetland, Burradale proves that. Therefore I dispute what you say about Viking going bust if subsidies are withdrawn this is you obfuscating again.
    Why should the charitable trust help someone who made a small fortune selling his business buy it back again I thought you where so against people who made money out of green energy at the cost of the charitable trust. Would this not be one of your cash cows that you so fondly refer to when you slate Viking.
    I thought you where the master of research Ian and you would have easily found the meaning of an asininestein, the fact you didn’t makes the name stick even more, so here is the link to find it.

  5. Gordon Harmer

    Oh by the way Ian a six hundred megawatt subsea power cable to export electricity from the proposed Viking Energy wind farm in Shetland should be in place in less than five years.
    National Grid say that the cost for the interconnector cable has come down from around £500 million to just over £300 million, after plans to connect the north of Scotland have been completely redrawn.It has also emerged that Viking Energy will only have to underwrite 10 per cent of the cost of the cable. This could be further reduced to five per cent if proposals discussed by National Grid and regulator Ofgem are accepted. The change was welcomed by Viking Energy project manager Aaron Priest.
    Speaking during the Dynamic Shetland renewable energy conference, in Lerwick, National Grid voiced confidence that the cable would be built.
    Ian, does this look like a company going bust at the prospect of subsidies being withdrawn.

  6. ian tinkler

    The major trigger for the ordering of the cable is the Viking Energy project getting a Section 36 approval from Scottish ministers. Without this approval Viking Energy is dead in the water. Why has VE not been approved yet? A decision was expected last January, what is the hold up? Only when and if approved can legal challenges start. At the very least, if an arbitrary positive decision is made, a judicial review will be sought…. I am a bit surprised a Section 36 decision was not given yesterday, that is what I expected. I wonder why it was not, anyone have any ideas? In answer to yours Gordon, without subsidy, or Section 36 approval VE would be a non starter as it actually still is at this time. With reference to The Proven turbine failure I would regard the Trust funds would be well served underwriting loans to individual Crofters, Aith RNLI and community centers for example, to help cover losses caused by the winding up of Shetland Wind Power. I see absolutely no conflicts in helping with a start up loan for a new company, Shetland Wind Power mark 2. Specifically to install and maintain small turbines, that would help individual Shetlanders. Avoiding proposed funds earmarked for SSE, already wealthy directors, Banks and Landlords where most of the VE monies will go. As expected, Gordon, asininestein is you name calling again. It is just another of your infantile insults, for that I thank you; some things will just never change.

  7. Gordon Harmer

    “The major trigger for the ordering of the cable is the Viking Energy project getting a Section 36 approval from Scottish ministers”. The report then went on to say “I have 100 per cent confidence that from a National Grid perspective, project approval will be given. What National Grid is waiting for is the nod from the developer saying we want you to go procure that HVDC (high voltage direct current) link. “What we have seen is that no consented project has ever been terminated. They might change the name, they might sell the project or pass it on to somebody else, but it happens.”
    Ian if the loss of subsidy was going to be a problem Viking would have been wound up long ago, a project of this size does not just happen without planning for every if and but which may be thrown in its path.
    Wind power at what ever level is good for Shetland and if the trusts money is going to help it should help all types of wind power. You cant be serious when you advocate help for small community projects and help for crofters and not for a project that will be beneficial for the whole of Shetland.
    As far as insults go Ian you should take John Kryton’s advice if you cant take it don’t give it, I don’t take offence at your puerile, childish and infantile attempts at insults I just come back with better.

  8. ian tinkler

    “Ian if the loss of subsidy was going to be a problem Viking would have been wound up long ago”. Get a grip Gordon. You really cannot believe that. No one surely can be that ignorant. No wind farm would be viable without subsidy, for that matter nearly every power source in the UK has some kind of subsidy, it is just CO2 free energy sources are the most costly, and are totally reliant on subsidy to be viable (nuclear, tidal, wind and wave for example) If I were you I would do a bit of research, try reading a book or two, at least find out what ROC means…If you must write, try and understand your subject matter, otherwise., a good motto for you, “Better to be quiet and appear a fool than open your mouth and dispel all doubt.”

  9. Gordon Harmer

    Nice insult Ian who did you pinch it from, try and be a bit more original it will have a better affect.
    Ian it is you who is foolish if this project could not work without subsidies it would be a non starter. Who in their right mind develops something on the basis of a subsidy as a guarantee of earnings the banks would laugh them out of the door. This has got to be able to work without subsidies to get backing from the banks and it will. Ian once again I will say and you cannot dispute it LOOK AT BURRADALE.

  10. Jim MacLeod

    Gordon / Ian

    Neither of you are going to change your own minds.

    Nor will your insults, ranting arguments and point scoring attempts change anyone else’s mind.

    Please leave these columns free for sensible, meaningful comments.

    Thank you,

  11. John Tulloch

    Burradale apparently has a particularly high load factor which is encouraging for future entrepreneurs, although, I’m unsure Lord (Alan) Sugar would include the SIC and SCT in that category and I suspect the subsidies and their longevity are crucial to the success of future investments – perhaps not?

    Does Burradale not get ROCs money? What price per unit (kilowatt hour) is paid, ultimately by customers, to that commercial organisation?

    It may well be viable on an island where the competing sources are expensive, however, that advantage disappears the day a connection is made to the Scottish mainland.

    Were there no grants or other financial assistance for Burradale’s development and construction?

    Presumably, “grandfather rights” will afford some protection from any cuts in subsidy to existing installations, however, can the same be said of future developments?

    I’m unsure I’d want to depend on bankers to keep us solvent, they seem to have enough difficulty achieving that with their own businesses.

  12. Colin Hunter

    What everyone is forgetting through all this argy bargy, is that fossil fuels will continue to spiral in price as demand outstrips supply. This will cause conventionally generated electricity to become more and more expensive as time passes, until alternative (Read renewable) sources will no longer need subsidies to compete. One thing I do know for certain. The infrastructure may well be costly, but the fuel will be free. FOREVER!

  13. Gordon Harmer

    Jim our rantings as you put it are at each other if you don’t like them don’t read them. This is a public forum and there is enough room for anyone who wants to add comment. I know we will not change each others minds and I am not after changing other peoples minds I just like proving Ian wrong.
    Come to think of it the only point you have made is you are intolerant of other peoples views. If you banned anything that was not sensible and meaningful from this forum there would be very little to read, just look at what John Tulloch has offered up.

  14. ian tinkler

    Without subsidy Burradale would just not be cost effective. To serve clarity and information, the Burradale wind farm generated 7,194 MWh last year, attracting £345,000 in public subsidies. Reference: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/8315304/Wind-turbine-costs-more-than-it-saves.html The Banks would pull the plug on VE tomorrow if they feared loss of subsidy. I can well understand Gordon’s thoughts when he stated.”Who in their right mind develops something on the basis of a subsidy as a guarantee of earnings”, in answer to this question, the directors of VE. The ROC payments are like printing money, but only as long as they last. Regarding Gordon’s comment, “(Using) the basis of a subsidy as a guarantee of earnings the banks would laugh them out of the door”, that is a very rational statement from Gordon, but it is quite wrong. With all the funds of the Charitable Trust as security the banks have a sure fire money earner. If VE fails the banks or SSE grab the Trust funds and take ownership of VE to sell on. The banks and SSE win the losers, Shetland’s environment and people.

  15. Gordon Harmer

    Ian, the fact the banks have not pulled the plug already disproves your point about reliance on subsidies. If you add what Colin has put into the equation wind and wave power have a great future up here and we should encourage it and be at the forefront of the development of renewables.
    Yesterdays papers were full of the figures of unemployment in people under the age of 24 100,000 in Scotland alone. If Shetland becomes a development hub for wind,wave and tide power our future generations will not have the threat of no jobs hanging over their heads.
    With the Sullom Voe terminal gearing up for another twenty or thirty years production and the Total plant starting up Shetland has a boom time to look forward to.
    So let us take a leaf out of people like Edward Thomason’s book and give our future generations a prosperous future.

  16. Gordon Harmer

    Ian I have copied the link you refer to so people can read where you get your facts from. This must be the worst example of sloppy and lazy journalism I have ever seen and you have used it as fact. I suggest you read it properly as it makes a mockery of your argument.

    The 280ft turbine situated in a business park near the M4 in Reading operated at just 15 per cent of its capacity year, meaning it generated £100,000 of energy, despite attracting subsidies of £130,000 from the Government.
    Since 2005, when it began producing energy, the turbine has been subsidised with £600,000 of public money but has run at an average of 17 per cent of its capacity.
    Figures were published as ministers promised to crack down on the spending of substantial sums on turbines built in areas without enough wind to make a significant saving.
    The turbine in Reading is capable of generating two megawatts (two million watts) of electricity at any time, but last year worked at 15.4 per cent of this rate, producing 2,692 megawatt-hours (MWh) – the total amount of energy measured in hours – over the year.
    Government subsidies of £48 are paid to wind turbine owners for every MWh generated, with the Reading turbine’s owner Ecotricity earning £130,000.
    Britain is becoming less windy 15 Jan 2011
    Wind turbines ‘less efficient than claimed’ 02 Jan 2011
    In contrast the Burradale wind farm in the Shetlands, which has two turbines, generated 7,194 MWh last year, attracting £345,000 in public subsidies.
    Lee Moroney, of the Renewable Energy Foundation, told the Daily Mail: “If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gases then you should put wind turbines in the most efficient sites, rather than have a scattergun approach.”
    A spokesman for Ecotricity said: “The turbine is designed to power the business park and has been doing a good job. They are happy with it and we are happy with it.”

  17. John Tulloch

    Basic economics is explained succinctly, courtesy of Charles Dickens, by Wilkins Micawber in the novel “David Copperfield.”

    “”Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

    Think on!!

  18. Erik J Smith

    Ian, please do some research on fossil fuel subsidies before you continue to embarrass yourself on this subject. Renewables subsidies simply level the playing field.

  19. ian tinkler

    Gordon do you now agree Burradale is subsidised and that ROC subsidy is added to our electricity bill Also did you intend to paste: RELATED ARTICLES
    Britain is becoming less windy 15 Jan 2011
    Wind turbines ‘less efficient than claimed’ 02 Jan 2011. Worth a read . Erik Smith, no ROC on fossil fuels. Is your petrol and fuel oil subsidised or taxed?. If it is government subsidised I would like to join you on whatever planet you are on. It certainly is not part of the UK.

  20. ian tinkler

    Wealth creation, at the cost of our environment, is a recipe for extinction.
    I have no problem with green energy and welcome CO2 free energy of any type.
    But all types of electricity generation will cause environmental damage and each project has to be assessed on its merits, the pros and cons balanced.
    That is where Viking Energy is appalling on almost every issue:

    Deep peat destruction of over a million tons, a hundred plus square miles of rare environment contaminated with lime. Acid peaty lochs polluted and eco systems destroyed;

    Well over two million tons of concrete and lime released into an acidic environment;

    Destruction of unique eco systems, direct loss of habitat and proven threat to red listed endangered species;

    Any profit created firstly benefiting big business (SSE), landlords, VE directors and banks, losses underwritten with trust funds;

    Profit dependent on subsidy (threatened);

    Business plan drawn up by SIC and SSE (with legendary track record of financial incompetence and self serving vested interest);

    Viking Energy refusing to comment on business profitability after ROC reduced by 10 per cent;

    At every stage normal democratic process bypassed and the public deceived;

    All parts of Salmon’s flawed and discredited plan (powerhouse of Europe) have now been ridiculed by independent banks, engineers and accountants.

    I could live with an interconnectorfor transmission of tidal and wave power, just, but not in the Weisdale Valley. An industrial site should be chosen, Weisdale was only chosen for the convenience of VE. Sullom or Rova Head would be environmentally sound.

    With the Sullom Voe terminal gearing up for another twenty or thirty year’s production and the Total plant starting up, Shetland has a boom time to look forward to.

    A prosperous time indeed, but it should not be based on greed and avarice, and by tearing the heart out of Shetland and our precious environment.

  21. Gordon Harmer

    Colin lend me your brick wall please, Ian of course I intended to paste related articles the whole thing is just a sloppy piece of journalism. It also said in contrast Burradale which has TWO turbines generated 7.194 MWh last year. Yes in contrast to some badly planned and placed turbine in Reading which probably runs of the wind from passing cars on the M4.
    The whole article is bull##it published in a bull##it comic and you use it as fact, you cant compare a stupidly placed turbine in Reading with what is being proposed for up here.
    Where is the proof that Britain is becoming less windy, it certainly is not less windy up here where it counts, Ian for goodness sake get a grip and put up some factual argument instead of fiction.

  22. Mike Grant

    In support of Erik J Smith, the oil industry is indeed subsidised in the UK, by means of tax breaks. It is surprising that Mr Tinkler’s is not aware of this, or could it be that he has an axe to grind?

  23. ian tinkler

    Erik you should do some research. We don’t actually subsidies fossil fuel that much in the UK, except for occasionally propping up the coal industry, and even then the amounts are small in comparison to billions on ROC subsidy. Mike Grant, I think you are not so silly as to believe the oil industry, tax breaks taken into account, is not a multi billion pound tax contributor to the economy. Most fossil fuels actually supply tax revenue. North Sea oil for example, George Osborne’s resent £10 billion tax raid is hardly a subsidy. Take a hard look at wind power, eye wateringly expensive, a huge drain on the public purse and electricity customers. An estimated £900 on every electricity bill in Scotland by the year 2020. If this concerns you try this web site. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22704

  24. Gordon Harmer

    Ian you are without doubt the mendacity machine on which the sun will never set, I have been checking out some of your bullet point statements above. Were on earth do you get over two million tons of concrete from, it will take in the region of 472,500 tons for the turbine bases and overall around 510,000 tons all in.
    How many red listed endangered species are you talking about, please name them, where do you get the rest of your figures and statements from? Prove what you have said, if your concrete figures are anything to go by the rest of what you say must be pure fiction. You also conveniently forgot to say about the twenty three million pound a year which will be paid into the charitable trust fund which will benefit every Shetlander.
    Oh and by the way Viking have commented on the 10% reduction on subsidy and if you missed it, it is on their web site.
    Ian the above is gobble de gook, lies and rhetoric, one quick visit to Vikings web site will disprove every thing you claim.

  25. Gordon Harmer

    Oops fat fingers on the calculator that should read 252,000 tons and 270,500 tons of concrete. which means Ian has multiplied the actual figures by 8, says a lot does it not.

  26. ian tinkler

    An honest answer from the mendacity machine on whom the sun never sets? A few facts and figures Viking Energy do not dispute, or publish…
    For Viking energy up to 12 quarries will extract aggregate alone of 1.47 million cubic meters. (Concrete gravel, has a density of 2.4 tone/cubic meter. Total concrete when sand and lime added in excess of 3 million tons. Whimbrel are a red-listed species, whose 300 pairs in Shetland form 95 per cent of the UK population. These are threatened by VE , habitat and blade collision. As is every single species of bird that flies over the hill. The Charitable trust funds that Viking speculates to enrich depend entirely on the ROC subsidy being maintained (Doubtful), the wind blowing, no legal action being taken against Viking for noise nuisance ( with 74 turbines within 1k of private residencees such actions are highly probable). Viking’s own figures were rejected as dishonest by the advertising standard authority and Aeron Priest Viking representative) refused to answer question regarding profitability of VE after 10% reduction in ROC. All of these facts are available on the web; I hope my maths is correct; no doubt I will stand corrected if wrong.
    References: http://www.sustainableshetland.org/ : http://forum.onlineconversion.com/archive/index.php?t-82.html :
    Http http://www.shetnews.co.uk/…/882-whimbrel-hold-up-viking-decision.html :
    http://www.shepwedd.co.uk/knowledge/article/1223-3270/wind-farms-and-noise-nuisance-another-chink-in-the-armour-/ (one of many)

  27. ian tinkler

    Oops fat fingers on the calculator that should read 252,000 tons and 270,500 tons of concrete. which means Ian has multiplied the actual figures by 8, says a lot does it not. Ian did not forget to unclude mile after mile of concrete roads. Ooops!

  28. ian tinkler

    Ooops, Gordon, you forgot. About 65 miles of new roads (some up to 30 feet / 10m wide). All nice new concrete.

  29. Colin Hunter

    Once again, the point Mr Tinkler is missing is that ALL energy is getting more expensive anyway. When I first put oil heating in my House in Unst twenty years ago it was about 12 to 14 p a litre. and would have cost about £300 to fill the tank (2300 ltrs). Today it is 65p a litre, meaning that the same tankfull is £1,495. an increase of some £1200, or almost a 500% increase! If it continues to rise as it has been doing, the chances are that electricity will be considerably more expensive by 2020 anyway and may even exceed his additional figure of £900. That is why it is imperative that the technologies to harness renewables are developed and perfected as quickly as possible.
    If we, in Britain do not bite the bullet and back their development we stand a very good chance of being left behind and becoming an “also ran” once more. We will then have to pay others for what we could have done ourselves. It is the same with all technology, when it is new, it is expensive and may need to be subsidised in order to compete, but as time progresses and the technology improves, so it becomes more efficient, and newer, more cost effective manufacturing techniques are developed. This brings the unit cost down and it all becomes affordable. Witness Henry Ford and his Model T. All I can say is, that if you don’t want electricity from Wind Turbines, you’d better start boiling up your piltock livers!

  30. ian tinkler

    errata. 74 turbines within 1k should be 74 turbines within 2k oops fat fingers!

  31. Gordon Harmer

    If the answer is honest then it is made by a person who suffers from mathematics illiteracy so profound he could become a politician. The project will require ( published fact ) 112,700m3 of concrete and a cubic meter of mixed concrete weighs 2.4tons which equates to 270,480 tons of concrete. Not the 2 million tons as claimed in your bullet point comment or the 3 million tons claimed in your last comment. Ian there is a distinct difference between concrete and aggregate unless you are mixing it together to make rhetoric to emphasise a point. All the concrete figures are published Ian seek and you will find so consider your self wrong and corrected.
    The effect on the Whimbrel will be minimal as only 2.1 will be disturbed and to put it in context there are 108 killed on the roads and by natural predators every year.

  32. Erik J Smith

    Ian, you must have missed the fact that oil is traded on a global market with a global price. This means that any subsidy, anywhere, which serves to increase production by reducing the cost of production will increase the global supply and hold down the global price.

    So I urge you again to look at global fossil fuel subsidies and compare them to renewables subsidies. You will find fossil fuel susidies dwarf renewables subsidies both in proportion and in total amounts.

  33. ian tinkler

    Erik J Smith. The discussion was pertaining to Viking Energy and ROC subsidies, not Global Energy Markets. We cannot influence China and Iranian fossil fuel subsidies. It is stupid and utterly irrelevant to draw that fact into the UK debate.

  34. ian tinkler

    Gordon, you are only considering the base of the turbines. What about the 100k of new concrete roads (mostly 10 m wide), about 1 million tons of concrete here alone the hundreds of drainage culverts and drainage channels to try and avoid landslip. You also ignore the transformer/switching station basses and the base of the converter station. Please reference your published fact 112,700m as appears pure fiction and I challenge that statistic as idiocy. Your comments about Whimbrel are totally discredited by The RSPB and Scottish National Heritage and are actually no roads at the top of the Shetland peat hills to kill anything. Quite apart from whimbrel, Snowy Owls, divers, swans, geese, raptors, any other bird that flies over our hills, all will be at risk, not habitat destruction but direct blade collision. Shetland is on a major migration path for very many rare species. Gordon, I note you include no references to as proof of your facts. They would be far more believable if you did. References: Migrations, Bobby Tulloch. Shetland, Bird Year Books. VE roads landslip http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/1530-opinion-pull-the-plug-on-viking-now.html. For a few further general facts and general statistics try, http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/ :http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php : http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22704

  35. ian tinkler

    “You’d better start boiling up your piltock livers!” Colin, unless we have a bit of research about offshore generation, and EM energy affects on fish, we may have no piltoks! Many a true word spoken in jest.

  36. Gordon Harmer

    Ian my comments on the Whimbrel where found on the link you provided so it is you who is providing discredited information.
    As far as the concrete is concerned I took into account the base for the switching station in my first comment on concrete hence two sets of figures. As far as the roads are concerned my understanding is they will be constructed from aggregate but I will research this before I speculate as you do.

  37. Colin Hunter

    I can’t see that electrical generation by offshore windfarms (which incidentally I neither mentioned nor condone) would harm fish at all. After all, Oil rigs have been generating electricity for years, Ships for many years before that and Mr Tinklers beloved Navy has been running round in Nuclear submarines, down among the said fishes, also for many years, all apparently, without any ill effects whatsoever! It would seem that in the space of one paragraph, the need for research into this has been done and dusted,and the results collated!
    Bull***t to the rescue once more!

  38. Gordon Harmer

    Ian the roads will not be constructed from concrete as you say they will be constructed from aggregate, below is an example of the construction of a normal road to access the wind farm.
    • Removal and temporary storage of turves, as appropriate
    • Excavation down to formation level
    • Formation of side drains to suit
    • Emplacement and compaction of stone to a depth of 400 to 600 mm
    • Emplacement and compaction of fines on the surface
    • Reinstatement of the verges with original turfs
    All this information is available from the Viking Wind Farm Environmental Statement under the Development Description.
    33ft wide concrete roads Ian they are not filling cavities they are building roads that will be flexible and also help the drainage.
    Three million tons of concrete, me me I would not come to you for a quote for a filling.

  39. ian tinkler

    Gordon as an HGV driver would this not concerns you. 104 kilometres of 10-metre and six-metre wide access roads capable of taking 130-tonne loads and 55-metre long trailers. Aggregate only, on wet deep peat, diagonally across the side of steep hills subject to peat slides. Two in the Viking area in the last two years. Reference: https://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/02/22/viking-ignores-facts. I was of the understanding the roads concerned were anchored concrete with multiple culverts to allow draining Floating aggregate only roads, without drainage culverts, on deep wet unstable peat, this is a recipe for total disaster. Just how long before someone is killed or a house carried away by a peat slide? I may or may not stand corrected about the concrete but the aggregate only roads, maybe less toxic, but in the event of torrential rain extraordinarily unstable and highly dangerous….Correct me if I am wrong, but would you drive a 130 tonne load on them.

  40. Gordon Harmer

    Ian what are you talking about, no load is going to be 180ft long and weighing 130 tons, the turbines will come in sections and be constructed on site. The longest piece I would imagine will be one third of the tower height which is 30 meters, and I have driven a 25 meter long load through Aberdeen with out a problem, so open country roads will be a doddle.
    The roads will not be sitting on peat as they will be dug down to a hard base and there will be drains. Ian this has been planned by experts stop scaremongering and how about an apology for getting it wrong about nice new shiny concrete roads.

  41. ian tinkler

    Gordon, some experts at Viking!! This project has been on the go for 8 years has already wasted over 6 million in Shetland funds and has now shrunk to probably less than 100 turbines when the original plan was for 192 turbines (sole notable achievement thus far). Which Viking expert drew up the original plans in the Scatsa airports flight path, without checking about airport expansion? Which Viking expert embellished and lied so comprehensively about the proposed profit figures for Viking that Trading Standards had to issue a formal reprimand? Which Viking expert claims on the Viking website that the RSPB supports wind farms without happening to mention the RSPB has placed a formal objection about Viking Energy’s threat to bird life. Which Viking expert so comprehensively fantasised about peat damage, and degradation and CO2 release using data years out of date collected in one tiny area only. This hardly gives one confidence in the Viking Energy experts; in fact it is quite a record of utter incompetence… Try reading ” Opinion: Pull the plug on Viking now by Alan Fraser”. Reference: http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/1530-opinion-pull-the-plug-on-viking-now.html. You accuse me of scaremongering, my advise to anyone living close to this project would be “Be afraid, be very afraid”. Incidentally the Turbine blades are the longest bit of the turbine, the bit that goes round slicing and dicing birds. I reference a nice photo of the 62 meter long transporter: http://www.roadtransport.com/blogs/big-lorry-blog/2010/08/wind-farmscarrying-windmill-bl.html. I hope it does no slip off the aggregate and end up on someone’s house!

  42. Gordon Harmer

    Ian I have just read your link in your last comment, that is not fact, it is a letter from someone who knows little and knows it fluently. He has made the same mistakes as you and put it together with a lot of conjecture and produced the same kind of rhetoric you come with.
    If you are going to use links please make sure they are from a credible source, oh and Iv’e found one for you in today’s Scotsman.

    Published on Thursday 24 November 2011 00:00

    Renewable energy technology is becoming increasingly cost competitive and is growing enough to provide a sustainable energy future, according to the International Energy Agency.

    In a report published yesterday, the agency said the renewable electricity sector had grown rapidly in the past five years and now provides nearly 20 per cent of the world’s power generation.

    It estimated that the deployment of renewables had avoided 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. The report disagreed with claims that renewable energy is only viable through costly subsidies and not able to produce energy reliably to meet demand. It said established technologies such as hydro power, geothermal and bioenergy were already cost-competitive, while cost reductions in wind and solar power were set to continue.

  43. Sandy McMillan

    Gordon, with the possability of no Wind Turbines being erected on and around the flight path into Scatsta airport, you could offer to put them in your back yard, this would make more sence, than the garbage you are speaking about and have been for quite a while now

  44. ian tinkler

    Gordon, Try the Viking Website Figure 04.4 Track Construction (55KB). A floating aggregate track on wet peat!. No drains, no anchorage to rock. Mr. Fraser proven correct. I am truly sorry I assumed Viking would take the safe option and secure their tracks on anchored concrete basses, I thought safety would be their motivation, not the cheap risky option of floating tracks over unstable wet peat to increase their own profitability. That is why my calculation on concrete usage was wrong, however if VE had stuck to their original size of wind farm and used the safer construction my calculation would have been perfect.

    How about an apology now from you to Mr Fraser? and to Shetland folk for your errors about track construction and trailer length. As a HGV driver that was an unexpected error

  45. John Tulloch


    As you are quoting the Scotsman I assume you don’t place it in your “bull##it comic” category. I agree it’s a fine newpaper with many fine journalists, arguably, the finest of whom is Bill Jamieson, Executive Editor, who appears regularly on Newsnight Scotland as a guest expert on economics and business. Alas, he doesn’t seem to share your views about renewable energy – quite the reverse, in fact!


  46. Colin Hunter

    I’d sooner have wind turbines AND an abattoir in my back yard, than the 17 houses some body has plans for!

  47. ian tinkler

    Colin, try this for size.” A medical expert has called for a 10km exclusion zone between homes and new UK wind farms. The “setback” zone plea is based on fears over the impact on health. The call comes from Dr Sarah Laurie, medical director of the Waubra Foundation, an Australian body dedicated to researching the health effects of wind turbines close to human habitation. She argues that the problems caused by prolonged exposure to noise and vibrations of the turbines are “real, serious and at times life-threatening”. Salmond’s sheep reject the research because it was done in a foreign country! Very reassuring. A bit like SSE claiming their one Megawatt sodium-sulphur (Na/S) battery, was safe, end installing it next to a fuel depot. No doubt Gordon will say it’s all “bull##it comic reporting” and my rhetoric, scaremongering. Will he ever get his HGV driving easy money working for Viking? Reference Shetland Times: Sunday Post.

  48. Gordon Harmer

    Ian just where did I state none of the roads would be floating on a geotextile membrane I mistakenly thought you meant they where sitting directly on peat I apologise if I was not clear. What I gave was an example of a type A road to prove your claim of concrete roads wrong. Why are you now extolling the virtues of concrete roads as opposed to hardcore roads, its a bit of a U turn for is it not. You xconcrete calculations where out by a staggering 700%, so there is no way you were anywhere near right about the amount of concrete being used.
    As for your 10k exclusion zone if your expert was right why are the population of Lerwick, Scalloway, Tingwall and Gott not suffering the above symptoms thanks to the wind farm at Burradale.

    John and Ian I was once told the definition of an expert is part a has been and part a drip under pressure. Experts do not have half the knowledge of of someone with experience and I would sooner believe some one who has constructed and successfully operated a wind farm in Shetland than a million experts pontificating from their ivory towers.

    Sandy if I was to tip a tin of alphabet soup in a mixer and then tip it out on the floor it would produce a better argument than you have.

  49. John Tulloch


    An ivory tower is a very tall, white cylindrical structure which is regarded as a folly and you think we should have lots of them, isn’t that so ?

    I expect Sandy will take your insult as a compliment, a grudging admission that you’ve been unable to SCRABBLE together an argument to counter his point.

  50. Mark Counter

    John this is the true definition of those who live in ivory towers, and I think this label could well stick to some of the contributors to this debate.
    From the 19th century it has been used to designate a world or atmosphere where individuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it usually carries pejorative connotations of a wilful disconnect from the everyday world;

    As far as folly is concerned I throw back to you another definition of this word which describes someone who has the state or quality of being foolish; a lack of understanding or sense.
    In your definition of a folly it is some thing with no practical use, you cannot stick that label to something which generates electricity from wind.

  51. Gordon Harmer

    John a folly is a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, or to house the kind of people Mark speaks about. Yes I believe we should have lots of white or grey towers but that is my view and it will continue to be my view until someone categorically proves otherwise.
    Just what point did Sandy make, you all know I am not a NIMBY, my views are well known. If you had let him answer for him self I am sure the wit of your comment would have been less evident.

  52. ian tinkler

    Gordon, many in the population of Lerwick, Scalloway, Tingwall and Gott are suffering from the symptoms outlined in the Waubra Foundation research. I have at least 250 patients taking prescribed medication for clinical depression, hypertension and various anxiety states. I would never be silly enough to claim Burradale wind farm caused their illness, nor could anyone say it has absolutely no effect on those patients and does not contribute to their illness. For the simple reason a definitive epidemiological study has never been completed. One is being undertaken in Japan and another in Australia, the results due in four years. One cannot help but agree with Dr Sarah Laurie that a moratorium on large Wind Farm development close to people’s homes would be prudent. A four year delay in the Viking project would be a very good idea and if truly the cost of wind energy is dropping that delay would save a lot of money. We have a very good example how SSE have shown themselves to be irresponsible and utterly stupid in pressing ahead with their sodium-sulphur (Na/S) battery, truly threatening public safety in the search of quick profit at great and mortal risk to the general public. Even being dismissive of public warnings, rather like the Viking Energy tracks floating on wet peat above the homes in our valleys. The experts at SSE have proven themselves stupid and dangerous wrong already, the competence of VE directors on the Trust likewise (The charity regulator OSCR). I feel and hope that soon, Viking Energy will be become a wholly academic irrelevance. Reference: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/286414/Fears-wind-turbines-can-be-health-hazard : http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/report-from-leading-british-sleep-specialist-dr-christopher-hanning/ : http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/report/c01.htm

  53. Gordon Harmer

    Ian there are many miles of public road throughout Shetland which are built on a geotextile membrane on top of peat, I have not been aware of any roads constructed in this manner slipping away. The public roads are the same as the tracks with a layer of tar on top, so where is the problem.
    I agree with you on the issue of the battery especially as these “experts” you refer to were warned time and time again of the dangers. This just ads credence to what I said a long time ago, we need Viking energy involved in this wind farm to stamp some local governance on the project.
    Ian your friend Alex Salmond will make sure the wind farm goes ahead, if it goes ahead with just a national or multinational company at the wheel I fear more battery incidents ahead.
    We need the council and Viking in there with them for some local governance, at least the council are answerable to the people who voted them in and Viking have experience in wind farms in Shetland.

  54. ian tinkler

    Gordon, Very few roads are across the tops of peaty hills, non are built along the watersheds above homes. Non will carry a fraction of the load VE plans to carry. Peat slides have already blocked one road, only just failing to kill by seconds.. Alex Salmond has absolutely no chance without the approval of Shetlander’s of turning us into a huge wind farm. Just like VE has little chance now. The Trust twits have been truly trust up. Excuse the pun. Non of our present council directors have a hope in hell of being voted in again. I believe most are not even standing again. I am fairly certain new medical evidence will force HSE and SEPA to stop this type of development in its tracks, if it has not already. The most incredible thing about Viking is how inane the original plan was, what is left is now half the size and appears less credible by the day. If it gets much smaller I may even withdraw my objection, once the tracks are properly anchored and proved safe, medical research proves once and for all there is no health issue, or for that matter, bird strike issue, or house price issue, or tourist issue, or cost issue, or lime run off issue. Need I go on?

  55. Gordon Harmer

    Ian I should have said many sections not miles of roads are built on a membrane or for that matter directly on peat. As for the wind farm tracks carrying loads in excess of a hundred tons I am sure you are mistaken as those loads will have to travel along public roads first.
    Ian the rest of what you say is politics, rhetoric and conjecture and I am not even going to try and unravel it and produce an argument.

  56. John Tulloch


    Don’t throw all your tins of “alphabet soup on the floor, you may soon have to eat your words!

  57. ian tinkler

    You would not have a chance Gordon.

  58. Gordon Harmer

    John if I was to eat my words which is not likely, they would be palatable.
    If you were to eat yours which is more probable, they would be nauseating.

  59. Gordon Harmer

    Ian tell me please why would the Health and safety Executive and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency get involved just because an Australian doctor has made some unsubstantiated claims. You are clutching at straws and scaremongering again.
    Ian you should get a job as a script writer for the new James Bond film, just imagine all the devils your mind could conjure up for him to have to slay to get to the girl on the beach.

  60. ian tinkler

    Gordon, just as a closing reply, I would firstly point out the Waubra Foundation is not representing the views of a single doctor; it is a health foundation… The research by this foundation is ongoing and results could be very pertinent to the health of people living close to wind farms and grave to the viability of the VE if health fears are proven. The Australian Governments Senate is collating the current research and so is the Japanese Government commissioning research. This is hardly the unsubstantiated claims made by an Australian doctor. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is already involved and has already laid out stringent regulations which VE must comply with. It should be self evident to any one with half brain why the Health and safety Executive are concerned with matters of public health. With reference to Commander James Bond and the girl on the beach, as I share an affinity to Bond through The Royal Navy, I will go for the girl and leave Gordon to the fairy tales.

  61. Gordon Harmer

    You hit the nail on the head there Ian IF health fears are proven, the way you explained it the HSE were going to act now and the wind farm was coming to a grinding halt. Like I said I don’t believe the HSE would act on speculation they surely need facts on this matter. Of course SEPA and the HSE are involved already even some one as misinformed as you knows that, I am talking specifically about this one claim.
    Ian I don’t think Commander James Bond would mind sharing an affinity with an above decks action man but not a below decks fang bosun.

  62. Robert Lowes

    Mr Tinker strikes me as less 007, more Captain Pugwash.

  63. Kathy Greaves

    Going back a few comments – re the size of machinery used for the construction of wind farms – the Fairburn wind farm turbines are much smaller than those proposed for Shetland yet the largest machinery used on that site (at July 2009, when I was there) was of 500 tonnes. I have photos which I had hoped to include in this submission, but they can be seen on many windfarm online sites.

    I cannot imagine that smaller machines would be able to undertake the massive rock removal and foundation work which would be required to rip up Shetland. And I wonder if the land would be able to support them.

    Kathy Greaves

  64. Robert Lowes

    I wonder if Kathy has increased the size of the Earth-Movers by the same factor of three when she claimed that Shetland was to be covered in 192 Eiffel Towers a whee while ago – the Eiffel Tower at 324 metres being substantially taller than any 90m tall turbine?

  65. ian tinkler

    Robert, before you try and mock Kathy, get your own facts right. The turbine height from base to top of rotor is 145 metres. Try the Viking Website, some of it is factual

  66. Gordon Harmer

    Kathy you are probably referring to the 500 ton crane which erected the turbines which had a maximum lifting capability of 500 tons. This would have been needed to lift the blades etc to the height of the top of the towers. When the crane was stripped down to move from one turbine to the next it was probably the heaviest piece of plant on site and would still have been over 50 tons but well under 100 tons.

  67. ian tinkler

    Gordon, wrong again. This is by no means the largest mobile crane used on wind farms. Try driving this up the side of a Shetland hill on a floating road on wet peat.

    Driver who died after 130-tonne crane crashes near Scout Moor wind farm are named reference; http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1455739_driver-who-died-after-130-tonne-crane-crashes-near-scout-moor-wind-farm-is-named.

  68. ian tinkler

    I believe this is the crane Kathy was referring to The Texel AC 1000 mobile crane. The actual weight when mobile over 400ton (439T, I believe, awaiting confirmation), when in use with counterweight much more (maximum +228T). Designed specifically with wind farm construction in mind. Reference: http://www.terexcranes.com

  69. Robert Lowes

    Ian – my facts are right. The height of the Viking Turbines are 90 metres from ground to top of the mast. When a blade is at the very apex of it’s revolution and in line vertically with the mast, then and only then is the tip of the blade 145 metres from the ground. However, that’s not a constant. Therefore, I would argue that the constant height of the turbines is 90 metres. Indeed, the Viking website describes the height as ‘up to’ 145 metres.

    However, even with that taken into account, 145 metres is still some way off the 324 metre height of the Eiffel Tower, which Kathy Greaves referenced in a previous letter. I am not mocking Kathy – merely pointing out that she has on past occasion she has wildly exaggerated figures purely for the purpose of scare-mongering.

  70. phili smith

    The turbines are 145m high, and as wide as a 757 airbus.
    Or if you like, twice as high as Burradale and twice as wide,Duh!

  71. Ali Inkster

    Now if we are going to be pedantic Robert at no time will the combined height of the mast and blades be as low as 90 meters. Once they are up and rotating they will be between 145 meters and the height of a 55 meter blade sticking out at 30 deg above the horizontal at the 90 meter high hub. I can’t be bothered but it should not be too hard for a stickler like you to work out 🙂

  72. Gordon Harmer

    Ian, your at it again, twisting what is written, I did not say that was the largest mobile crane used to construct turbines. I said it was probably the crane used at Fairburn, and for your information it was the crane used. It was a big yellow Liebherr eight-axle LTM 1500-8.1 equipped with a 7-section, 84 m telescopic boom, the longest telescopic boom in the world at the time ( 2009 ).
    The lifting capacities are increased considerably due to the jib-suspension. The lattice jib, reaching lengths of up to 91 m, extends the operating range of the 500-tonner to 145 m hoisting height and 108 m reach. The drivers name is Chris and I have his mobile phone number here. He said when the crane is stripped down because the jib cannot be removed the crane weighs 120 tons. This crane has been used to construct most of the British wind farms and is owned by Ainscough Crane Hire.
    Considering that the crane you describe was not built until March 2010, it would have had a problem building the wind farm at Fairburn as construction started there in January 2009.
    Oh and there are heaps of photos on the internet of large truck loads of wind turbine parts up on top of hills travelling safely on roads constructed of aggregates suspended on peat.
    Ian give up your scaremongering no body is going to fall for it.

    If you think about Roberts claim mathematically, he is correct the turbine is 90 meters high. First you take a measurement from the tip of the blade at its full height 145 meters then you take a measurement when it is at its lowest point 35 meters which makes the actual height bang in the middle, 90 meters, simples ttch.

  73. ian tinkler

    What a stupid argument, we are talking about visual impact. That is the height from your perceived horizon, or alternatively how high above your head. As nearly all the homes overshadowed by these turbines are only 30 meters above sea level or less the actual perceived height is way above the height from base to top of rotor arch 145 meters as claimed by the turbine manufacturer, (figure A4.2 Turbine Elevation PDF. VE downloads). Kathy’s figures are for perceived height, is not far wrong. Gordon and Robert must be very stupid if the claim the structures are 90 meters high. They are in disagreement with Viking Energy and the turbine manufacturers. Wrong again Gordon, you really should check your facts.

  74. ian tinkler

    “When the crane is stripped down because the jib cannot be removed the crane weighs 120 tons. Not quite what you previously claimed, Gordon. I quote you “the heaviest piece of plant on site and would still have been over 50 tons but well under 100 tons” When this crane is not striped down and has its counterweight attached (counterweight 165t) it is hardly under 100 tons. Actually just under 300 (285) tones. Wrong again Gordon!!!. As I said check your facts.

  75. Gordon Harmer

    No Ian, right again is the statement about the crane, when it is not stripped down it does not move . And as for being out by about 40 tons until I had researched it I don’t think that was to bad especially as you were out by 280 tons. If you read what I said properly you would have read the word probably which meant I was not totally sure, but I am now and I have proved you wrong again.
    Ian if you also read what I said about the height of the turbines, the little ” simples ttch ” at the end would have told you I was taking the mickey. But never mind I am just glad you set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

  76. ian tinkler

    “the heaviest piece of plant on site and would still have been over 50 tons but well under 100 tons” Well well. Gordon your words!!! Says it all.

  77. Robert Lowes

    Presumably then, if a six foot man someone was to whirl his arms above his head all day, he could claim he was eight feet tall? Possibly taller if he was standing on a hill, whilst onlookers were standing below it.

  78. Gordon Harmer

    Ian are you as thick as you make out I all ready said that I said probably in that comment unlike you who makes out every thing is fact.
    Ian I got the right crane and after research even the drivers name, you came up with some imaginary crane that was not even built when Fairburn was constructed. And not only that your crane lives in Canada. No probably here Ian just a definitely I am right and you are wrong,

  79. ian tinkler

    Sure Gordon, to quote you again, “no load is going to be 180ft long and weighing 130 tons, “The longest piece I would imagine will be one third of the tower height which is 30 meters”. Your facts are a bit like your humor, fictional. Some of your facts, come to think of it, are far funnier than your humor. Robert, I think Gordon even admits now the structures are 145 meters high. To quote” Ian if you also read what I said about the height of the turbines, the little” simples ttch” at the end would have told you I was taking the mickey”, Maybe the last laugh is on you, Robert.

  80. Gordon Harmer

    Ok Ian, I got it wrong I forgot about the blades at 55 meters but they only weigh around 15 tons each so where do you get your 130 ton loads from.
    Oh and by the way do you not think when Robert referrers to a man flailing his arms around he is taking the mickey too as he is referring to you flailing around looking for something sensible and factual to say.

  81. ian tinkler

    Gordon, The crane you mention is 120 tons; its counterweight is 165ton. Viking will need much larger crane, VE has one third larger turbines than planed than at Fairburn; the 120 tonner has too short a boom. How do you think the odd million tons of aggregate are moved around? Dump trucks used in quarrying can be far larger than 40 toners used in past wind farms. It is a matter of conjecture how large. VE do not list the plant they will use. Anyway it all a bit academic now until The Charitable Trust is sorted. The VE director councilors have been neutralized for the time being. Undeniable conflicts of interest. Who knows when new Trustees are appointed whether they will also blindly chase mammon, and be so willing to destroy Shetland’s wildlife and natural heritage…http://www.shetnews.co.uk/news/1530-opinion-pull-the-plug-on-viking-now.html.

  82. Gordon Harmer

    Ian you are clutching at ever shortening straws for a start the crane I described has a hoisting height of 145 meters and you are so far out with the weight of the counter weights it is unreal.
    As for the rest of your argument, straw clutching of the highest order, your usual plucked out of the air rhetoric. You have proved that you use lies and rhetoric in your statement “Viking do not list the plant they will use” so your claims are lies and scaremongering again and again.
    The crane I described was the one used at Fairbirn, never did I say it would be used up here only you have used conjecture and made up rubbish on that subject.
    Ian arguing with you is like arguing with a juvenile suffering from ADHD syndrome so this is my last post on this matter, Stalk me with more rhetoric if you wish but no reply will you get.

  83. ian tinkler

    A sad, sad day for the wind farms. Julian and Sarah Jane Davis who have won a large amount of compensation after suffering the misery of a giant eight-turbine wind farm being erected a mere half mile from their pleasant country home. (N.B.VE turbines are larger and many closer to homes. Reference: http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/288285
    Wind turbines fail in storms. The turbine was erected 100 meters from the A1107 road. The tip of one blade landed 5 meters from the road. The nearest homes were reported to be 200 meters from the turbine’s original location. Homes had to be evacuated and a road was closed after a turbine had problems with gusts of wind in the Borders. The incident happened near Coldingham in Berwick shire on Wednesday. The turbine has been erected but was not turned on and appears to have been unable to cope with gusts of up to 50mph.
    Reference: http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/288285
    Wind turbine bursts into flames as hurricane-force winds hit Scotland.
    The turbine in a North Ayrshire wind farm caught fire on Thursday afternoon as storms hit the country.
    Some nice pictures though.
    Reference: http://news.stv.tv/scotland/west-central/286170-wind-turbine-bursts-into-flames-as-hurricane-force-winds-hit-scotland/
    Probably a good time not to say I told you so, Gordon, a bit infantile, must be the ADHD or could it be straw clutching scaremongering!

  84. ian tinkler

    O Dear, importing twice as much energy from Europe as entire UK winds farm production again. Good on you, French nuclear, keep the lights on for Salmond. http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php?mact=CGBlog,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=498&cntnt01returnid=19

  85. Ian Tinkler

    Referance; error:Should be:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-16084013
    (Turbine failure)

  86. Robert Lowes

    The Express piece is by Anne Widdicombe – a notorious anti-abortionist who also happens to be anti-women priests, wants the death penalty brought back and is a climate change denier. I wouldn’t put much stock in anything she says, frankly. With regard to the 2nd piece about Coldingham turbine that toppled over – the reports on the web supply little information about it was secured, etc. Does the ‘unable to cope with gusts of up to 50mph’ refer to the braking mechanism, which sees most modern turbines shut down in excessive winds, or does it refer to the structural integrity or the turbine? Are you trying to suggest that turbines are inherently at risk of falling over? Given that there are plenty of turbines that haven’t collapsed in the last 72 hours across the UK, I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to prove. With regard to the 3rd piece, about the Ardrossan turbine that caught fire, that was one turbine among many that did’t catch fire. The fire could be explained by the braking mechanism failing, broken electrical connections, the lubricant overheating – any number of things. But again, there aren’t hundreds of turbines in flames across the land.

    Finally, damage from extreme winds in the last couple of days have also affected houses, businesses, schools, toppled trees, smashed cars, damaged causeways, flooded buildings etc. Presumably, by your logic, we shouldn’t be building any more of these either, if the can fail in the face of winds up to 165mph? Yet you only choose to mention the damage to two turbines. But you’re not scaremongering or clutching at straws.

  87. Kathy Greaves

    Updating myself on windfarm comments, I would like to point out to Robert Lowes that if you do not include the length of the blades to the height of the wind turbine you would merely have a post – the blades are in fact a necessary part of the structure. No blades, no power generation.

    So 145 metres high they remain.

    My – tongue in cheek – comparison to their height to that of the Eiffel Tower was intended to counterbalance the erronious and misleading playing down of the impact of giant wind turbines on our landscape. To bring to the public’s attention the actual height of these contraptions; that they are not the ‘bonnie peerie twinkling windylights’ which Viking Energy’s supporters were getting close to portraying them as.

    Fortunately the Shetland Times picked up on this point and published an array of structures of similar height, for comparison purposes.

    As for saying that if a six foot man was to whirl his arms above his head all day, could he claim to be eight foot high, is arrant nonsense and can only have been written by a VE supporter.

    Just for the sake of accuracy: the sizes, weights and descriptions of the massive machinery and plant used on the construction of the wind farms visited on the VE Learning Trip to the north of Scotland mainland were given to us by the contractors on site.


    Kathy Greaves

  88. ian tinkler

    Robert, sorry you do not like Anne Widdecombe. How about a few other reports. Is The Telegraph and Press Association good enough for you Robert? The Davis’s lives were wrecked and property value slashed by the presence of turbines further from their home and smaller than the VE turbines
    1/A couple have settled a High Court damages action against the owners and operators of a wind farm they say drove them from their farmhouse home with its ”unbearable” noise. (http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php?mact=CGBlog,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=485&cntnt01returnid=19 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8925467/Couple-settle-with-wind-farm-operators-over-unbearable-hum.html)
    2/They said the “intolerable” noise disrupted their sleep, made them feel ill and was so severe that it warranted a reduction in council tax and rendered the £2.5 million farmhouse no longer marketable as a family home. (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hSurzAqwoNzU6hppxR-z6csRmH3w?docId=N0168311322651693417A)
    . Many Shetland folk will be closer and underneath large VE turbines… As for turbine fires and blade failure read http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/page4.htm
    More deaths in turbine accidents than Chernobyl and Fukushima deaths from chronic radiation illness (including all cancers) combined. Reference IAEA. WHO. UN. Scaremongering, maybe time to be scared. Fancy living within 1K and overshadowed by a VE turbine.

  89. Colin Hunter

    Of course, “conventional” power generating machinery never breaks down……ever. ….! Yeah! Right! As a Marine Engineer of many years standing I can tell you about Steam Turbine and Diesel generator sets which would self destruct with galling regularity! Usually when you’d just got the other one up and running after the last breakdown.
    Nobody ever hears about these things, and such events are not just confined to Ships electrical plant. I have no doubt that there are similar occurrences in various power stations across the country. It’s unseen and unreported upon because it’s neither important nor newsworthy. Unless it happens to be Nuclear, of course! Unlike Wind Turbines which are new, relatively untried and controversial. Bear in mind though, that the other several hundred (Thousand??) survived unscathed.
    As Robert Lowes says, are we going to stop putting up buildings because some of them were damaged….or planting trees?

  90. John Tulloch

    There’s been an interesting debate on renewable power in the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, a full transcript of which is available at the end of


    Surprisingly, Tavish Scott didn’t take the opportunity to put his views on record.

  91. Gordon Harmer

    Well done Ian, another fantastic piece of rhetoric containing no less than three links to the same report from the anti wind farm blurb, the Telegraph.
    The fourth link claimed that more wind turbines will mean more accidents involving wind turbines. Well you don’t need a degree in science or rhetoricology to work that out as it applies to every thing on this earth from pocket knives to jumbo jets.
    Ian the wind farm in Deeping St Nicholas being noisy to some one living within one kilometre of three of its turbines is no argument when comparing it with the Viking wind farm. Firstly Deeping St Nicholas is at the flat end of Lincolnshire and Shetland is extremely hilly, different environment. The turbines are one hundred meters high with forty two meter blades, the proposed turbines for Viking are much bigger, different turbines. This wind farm was built in 2005 / 2006 and technology and development has made turbines quieter, plus it is a known fact that the bigger the turbine the quieter it is, different technology.
    So Ian, if you are going to make comparisons make them with like for like not with straw clutching scaremongering rhetoric.
    Oh and by the way using words like “intolerable” inside inverted commas does not make rhetoric believable.

  92. ian tinkler

    I was just highlighting the untruths of the Viking Website ,myth buster. How can VE claim turbines are not noisy and do not lower house value? A bit economical with the truth are they not, Gordon?
    I notice you mention the height of the Viking Turbines and that they are placed on high hills. They will have blades, weighing many tons, rotating up to 400meteres above Shetland homes. In view of the now proven risk of catastrophic turbine failure and fire hazard in strong winds (frequent in Shetland storms) I for one would not sleep easy overshadowed by this wind farm. Figures just released by RenewableUK, the wind industry’s trade body, show further 1500 incidents on UK wind farms some resulting in death. Some SSE engineers and scientist have proven how caviler they are with public safety issues, with their lethal Sodium battery and fuel tank combination, at the Lerwick power station. Is it the same experts whom planed this wind farm? I believe it is. That is not a very reassuring thought.

  93. Gordon Harmer

    Ian just look at the prices of houses for sale in Shetland they are still going up and many that are for sale will be in the shadow of the Viking wind farm and they are still selling.
    Ian every thing has a risk therefore it should be assessed and control measures put in place and this is no different with a wind farm. How can you claim there is a proven risk of a catastrophic failure on a wind farm that has not been built yet and has not said which turbines will be used. As technology advances all the past problems with wind turbines will be manufactured out and they will be safer and quieter.
    Ian the battery situation was sorted because of a public spirited and safety conscious individual with a grain of sense, not by a scaremonger clutching at straws. You have praised the nines project in the past and you knew that battery was part of it so with all your knowledge why did you not spot the problem before any one else. I will tell you why because the battery was a real problem not a made up one.
    Tell me Ian how can you belittle the Viking myth buster web site when you believe articles written in the Telegraph.

  94. Gordon Harmer

    Ian you might think that nuclear power is safe but the Japanese have a different view and they are turning to wind power. A surprising aerodynamic innovation in wind turbine design called the ‘wind lens’ could triple the output of a typical wind turbine, making it less costly than nuclear power.

    Some major wind projects are already projecting costs significantly lower than coal power — $80 per MWh for wind versus $90 per MWh for coal — and that is without government subsidies using today’s wind turbine technology.

    Imagine if a breakthrough came along that potentially tripled the energy output of those turbines. Well, such a breakthrough has already been achieved and deployed by Japanese researchers looking for an alternative to the dangerous nuclear power

  95. John Tulloch


    If you’re proposing to bring “wind lenses” to Shetland you should buy shares in cement manufacturers now – the forces on the foundations will be enormous.

  96. Gordon Harmer

    Not at all John I don’t believe they would work up here, I was mentioning to Ian that the Japanese are not so enamoured with nuclear power as he is. The Japanese have faced a nuclear melt down and are now turning to wind as an alternative. They know the risks of both systems of generating power and have rejected the system Ian advocates and I think experience says more than scaremongering.

  97. ian tinkler

    I like Gordon’s reference to new technologies from Japan, are you at long last Gordon, admitting that the Viking Turbines are becoming obsolete technology. That is exactly what I have advocated all along. It is so good to see you coming round to my view. I would actually prefer the Japanese’s floating offshore designs, then we could always float them off to Scotland’s inshore waters (Firth of Forth) if they stop the fishing (Joke) or break up in Shetland sea conditions (no joke). http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/20110927/japan-builds-offshore-floating-wind-farm-near-fukushima.htm
    I note Gordon’s comment regarding the Telegraph as not being a credible news source, Now about the Guardian, The Mail, the Times, the Scotsman and now The Adam Smith Institute along side City Group, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and HRH to name a few of many. They all frequently disparage wind farms. To quote, “Renewable energy: Vision or mirage?””As renewable energy sources produce power intermittently, they cannot replace gas, coal and nuclear generation, even with further development.
    Solar and wind energy have no prospect of becoming economically competitive in an unrigged market. Government intervention will lead to higher energy costs and jeopardize energy security.
    Increased investment in wind turbines will do little to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.” not the words of a scaremonger clutching at straws, but from The Adam Smith Institute
    in a just published report, “Renewable energy: Vision or mirage?”. As time passes these wind farms of present design (up marker windmill) are becoming less and less credible. How long before Salmond and Huhne see them as the follies they are.

  98. Gordon Harmer

    Ah Ian, so you admit technology is making turbines better safer and quieter, at last my message has got through.
    No need to carry on with this thread of debate any more, so am of to write and send Christmas cards, don’t know your address Ian so merry Christmas and a happy new year.

  99. ian tinkler

    And to you too Gordon. Let you and yours have a great Christmas.


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