Missed the points (Kathy Greaves)

I am puzzled by Jonathan Wills’ statement in reply to my letter in last week’s Shetland Times, where he says that he has tried in the past to explain to me about the limits of a grid for Shetland.

We have never had any discussion on this subject, ever. Explain? And he seems to have completely missed the points I was trying to make; there will be no need for an interconnector cable to mainland Scotland if we don’t have a giant windfarm, and thus no conundrum about how to/who will/pay for it.

Such a massive project as the proposed Viking Energy windfarm will devastate Shetland’s Mainland for ever; do you really think that the millions of tonnes of concrete and other materials needed to be used for the bases of the hundred and more wind turbines, and the access and service roads and associated tracks will have no effect on our islands? That the borrow pits for road hardcore, the massive quarries needed to be dug out of our land for gravel and for infill and the like; the heaps of spoil and waste, the disturbance of peat, animals, birds – and not least of all, people – these will not have a lasting effect?

Then there is the transportation to and off-loading of the necessary massive equipment and turbine parts to (which?) Shetland ports and to the windfarm sites alone will cause major disturbance and possible damage to all areas concerned. The damage already caused on the road south last month by a comparatively few large lorries carrying rocks to Sumburgh Airport gives a tiny indication of what our roads could suffer.

I would not want to live in some parts of Shetland under these conditions, neither would many other people want to live in “Klondyke” no matter what the possible monetary rewards, and when there are no guarantees for any income from the Viking Energy giant windfarm.

So, Jonathan, there is no allegation of any conspiracy to destroy the Shetland landscape, not by me anyway. It’s just a sensible calculation of cause and effect which anyone can work out.

You say that not all of the £10 million initial investment is not all spent, this amount actually includes subsequent amount allocated this year for investment by Shetland Charitable Trust; I assume that SSE, a partner in the Viking Energy project, has invested the equivalent amount up to now?

Trustees and professional/legal services can be wrong and have been on many occasions, more and more so recently as we all know, therefore I would not rely entirely on their “judgment”.

And the value of the shares in Viking Energy are solely on paper and worth nothing at all if the project does not go ahead – a real gamble,  and gambling is something I believed that the charitable trust was not allowed to do with our money.

We – the public – did not have any say or choice in the matter, no vote, and I still wonder why? But then, would I want to start a conspiracy theory?

Kathy Greaves


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