I have tried in the past to explain to Kathy Greaves that in an isolated electrical grid like Shetland’s there is a limit, imposed by the laws of physics, on how many wind turbines you can connect to it. Even with new “smart grid” technology, we are probably now quite near to that limit, with Burradale and many other, smaller aeorogenerators already plugged in.
This means that unless there is a cable connecting us to the British mainland grid, we will never be able to generate all of Shetland’s power from wind and tide, as Kathy and I would both wish to see.
Submarine cables cost a lot of money. That is one reason why any commercial windfarm in Shetland has to be much larger than one to supply only the Shetland grid.
The sites for the proposed Viking windfarm were chosen because they were areas with the fewest environmental conservation designations, so to allege that this is some sort of wicked conspiracy to destroy the Shetland landscape is just plain wrong.
Kathy also claims the £10m initial investment in Viking (not all of which has yet been made) is “wasted”. Trustees took professional legal and financial advice before investing. The investment is approved by the charities regulator and the revenue, who presumably know more about these things than Kathy or I do. And the trust’s share is still worth considerably more than we paid for it. So to accuse trustees of wasting the money is simply untrue.