Onshore Scenario Mapping

Final Report Published (Oct 2012)

This is a comprehensive and detailed report of the physical impacts derived from the  possible 4 Operation and Maintenance(O&M) options .

Bizarrely a possible  onshore convertor station was excluded from the consultant’s remit.

The report lacks any substantive socio- economic study other than referencing SQW(2), This was not community consulted as originally specified . NTA may pursue this issue .

The greatest cause for concern is the lack of a substantive independent socio- economic study, to input into the  L&C process. The outcome of this Onshore Scenario Mapping Exercise indicate  that any further impact study will be addressed in the developer’s EIA .

NTA would  suggest that this is not the outcome that Tiree expected. Two years ago  Scottish Government declared the proposed  Array could be ” transformational” and proposed a Master Planning exercise for Tiree. This has morphed into this On-Shore Scenario Mapping exercise . .

The L&C process is showing evidence that it may be seriously flawed.

SPR cannot be assumed to present in their  EIA  a substantive ,uncritical assessment of the social impacts of the demographic transfer , wage distortion, economic , social and cultural dominance they will exert upon Tiree if this Array is consented .

Executive Summery

REPORT :

Following on from the series of consultations , this Final Report  has been published.

NTA, prior to this Final Report’s publication, raised with A&B Council a series of  Key points(bold) to which A&B replied as follows:-

What is the status of the report – this is non-statutory piece of work and is for information purposes only based on a particular point in time and the information available to us at that time.

The report should not be concluded at this time as things will be developed further and changes coming forward from the developer will impact on the reportAs stated above we will review the position in 6 months’ time to determine if there have been any changes that would impact on the scenarios. We have always been aware that the development of the scenarios was based on the information available at a particular point in time and that as information coming forward changes and the development advances there will be greater clarity as to the potential implications on shore form such a development.

The report does not contain sufficient information as regard impact on infrastructure as a consequence of the convertor station and or from the harbour development – Given that we do not know which of the scenarios the developer will adopt and given that there is still very limited information in regard to each of the four we are not yet in a position to determine impacts at this level of detail. The scenario mapping is based on assumptions and until further detail is available and there is clarity on the actual scenario being taken forward it would not be feasible to undertake more detailed work on these. The developer will consider the detailed  impact from any onshore requirements as part of their EIA. It is hoped that further information will be available relative to the convertor station at the SPR information event at the end of this month.

Data sources used have not been through due processthis relates to a background report that was referenced as part of the economic consideration. The background report was commissioned through ARC.   It does not have a specific locus for the on shore scenario mapping but is a source available for background socio economic information.

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Click on this link to the appendices to this report

Note: NTA took no formal part in this project other than an initial meeting with the consultants to advise  why NTA could not participate .

This report provides insight into the  4 possible Onshore O&M  scenarios for the proposed Array. The parameters of each O&M scenario were submitted by  SPR. It is not clear as to what degree of interrogation SPR’s  parameters were subjected, as  a possible on shore HVDC converter station has not been addressed in this report

Anecdotal evidence suggests that hardly any one has bothered to study this report in full.   This does a grave dis- service to the quality of consultancy Ironside  Farrar have put  into this report.

The  production of the Draft report , and its subsequent consultation stage , co-incided with SPR’s end March 2012 announcement delaying their consenting submission till 2nd half  2014 .

Thereafter followed silence till the Tiree public meeting Thurs 20 Sept  2012.

Tiree public meeting Thurs 20 Sept  2012.

The poorly attended meeting was given a brief introduction by Audrey Martin  (Development Projects and Renewables Manager,A&B Council) , followed by  presentation of the main aspects of the report by Julian Farrar, on behalf of the consultants, Ironside Farrar.

Attendees from the Steering Group included :-John Stevenson (Crown Estates;- offshore wind in Scottish Territorial Waters)/Lucinda Gray ( HIE/Senior Development Manager)/ColinMacFarlane (SNH Ops Officer Mull,Coll,Tiree) .Marine Scotland was to attend but circumstances prevented attendance.

After the power- point presentation of the draft report , the meeting was open for discussion .

A main issue raised was the possible on- shore HVDC converter station .

Reference was made to the  4th quarter 2011  public consultation events, from which it had emerged that placing off shore any HVDC converter was the preferred community option . SPR’s concession to this conclusion was to state it was  ‘minded’ to do so.

Notwithstanding being ‘minded’‘  SPR,  consistent with their statement at the outset  that :-…. “The masterplan should therefore be decoupled from the project consent process”, have decided, unilaterally, to present, for further consideration, an onshore option for any HVDC converter.

A HVDC  converter station is a finite concept . It can only be located either  on, or off shore.

A HVDC converter station is as finite a concept as any one of the 4 O&M scenarios offered by SPR for Onshore Scenario Mapping, yet it would appear , from the outset, SPR did not offer it as an input parameter to this exercise.

SPR  have consistently refused to present visualisations/montages  of any such option.  The discussion ,at the meeting , regarding  the possible placing on shore  of any HVDC converter could not have made it any clearer to  SPR that SPR was expected to  reconsider its position, and present  appropriate  visualisations/montages  of any on-shore HVDC  at  its next PID.

Time will tell if SPR is willing to reconsider its position .

The meeting was given this image (below) to illustrate on shore HVDC station, (co-incidently this same image has been on the NTA site  for many months !!) .

Onshore HVDC Converter

It was also offered a card board cut-out  representing an On-Shore Convertor station as per the dimensions given in SPR’s AUG 2010 Scoping Request.  Subsequently these have proven to be (1) misleading and (2) recklessly under-estimated.

The meeting raised other issues, including the lack of substantive information on(a) any possible harbour development , and(b) the socio -economic issues which will arise from any significant  demographic transfer .

It was the general perspective of the attendees , that this report could not conclude or recommend anything meaningful, unless it moved into a 2nd stage to address, in detail many of the issues raised by the report . The absence of a 2nd stage would condemn  this report to have served little practical purpose, beyond informing on aspects of 4 O&M scenarios. Members of the steering group appeared to concur with this perspective.

Where it went from here ” was raised at the Dec 2011  steering committee meeting;-

The format of final reporting was discussed.( A member of the steering committee)  suggested the preference would be for there to be a presentation of the final report to the community, at which point the anticipated next steps for the project should be outlined (e.g. what is the process going forward and how does the community remain engaged in this).

Regrettably, this  suggestion would appear to have been given no more than lip service.

It now remains to be seen if Scottish Govt and A&B council have the inclination, or fiscal resources, to move this forward .

On-Shore Convertor Station 

NTA has  published CAD drawings of the possible On-shore Convertor station to the SPR’s corrected dimensions revealed by them at their subsequent (  31 OCT)  Update meeting ;

The associated onshore cabling works can be seen in these images.

CRITIQUE OF FINAL REPORT ;-

Following the Publication of the Final Report, and its obvious  weaknesses , in particular its lack of any substantive assessment of  a possible  Onshore Convertor Station,   NTA  submitted this critique to all members of the steering group.

 

P.S.:-The following is the compilation of the associated  correspondence,to date, with Scottish Government and MS on (1)  any possible On-Shore Converter station (2) Night Time Visualisations:-

The responses were of the ‘pass the parcel‘ genre !!

It was not till after the publication of the Final Report that SPR corrected the structural dimensions of any onshore convertor station , ( 5 fold increase in foot print ) , but also advised the corrected  structural dimensions ( 2 fold increase in ‘ sea print’ ) of the possible OffShore Convertor.

 

 

 

 

 

SPR 5 weeks later put the  Array on hold till Dec 2013

SPR immediately re-deployed its Tiree Array Project Team,and ceased employing a  Tiree Community Officer.

So was it such a surprise in Dec 2013  when SPR dropped the Tiree Array, and relinquished its Crown Estates Lease?

SG in its current Draft Marine Plan  only recommends  Scenario Mapping to Developers .

The Tiree experience demands that Scenario Mapping is made made mandatort to the L&C process

7 thoughts on “Onshore Scenario Mapping

  1. Craic

    The release of the ‘Draft Tiree Onshore Mapping Scenario report’ is a disapointment, it tells us nothing new & nothing that we did not already know. One wonders how much a subjective narrative actually has to offer, indeed, why would one pay for a report that has no new information in it ? It would as sombody suggested, have been much better to give the cash to Tiree 6 th form and ask them to present an Xl spread sheet.
    It does support however support NTA’s stance that, except for the heirarchy of Scottish Government ‘SPR is not consulting to any valuble depth’ with any of the affected stakeholders…specifically Tiree’s community.

  2. rob Post author

    I attended this very poorly attended meeting

    I am of the view that A&B council cannot present the Finalised report of the Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping as they intend . Their intention is to simply present the Draft as is with an appendix covering (a) any consultation input and(b) any additional input from this meeting.

    I have sent Audrey Martin the following e mail and cc’d the Steering Group
    ++
    I am of the view that A&B council cannot present this Draft as a finalised report until such time as the onshore implications of any possible onshore converter station have been addressed,and presented, in the same way as the 4 onshore O &M scenarios. Until then the Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping project, and attendant report ,is incomplete .

    A&B can only present this report as either:-

    (a) an interim final report pending (1) any possible onshore converter station being addressed, and
    (2)presented in the same way as the 4 onshore O &M scenarios.

    Alternatively

    (b) Present a final report titled “ Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping of 4 possible O&M Scenarios”.

    To offer it as Titled may be in breach of 4.1.2. of the Tender Document for;-” Mapping the onshore impacts of the Argyll Array off-shore wind farm development on the island of Tiree ” ( REF 2011/ET/07/WFDT issued 16th May)

    Similarly the final report as indicated may be in breach of 4.4and 4.5 ( para4) of this tender document .

    The fact that the developer limited this study to 4 O&M scenarios cannot exclude the implication of any possible onshore converter station from the final report on Tiree’s Onshore Scenario Mapping .

    Any ‘ report’,at this stage, must reflect that the report is limited to Mapping the Developer’s nominated 4 O&M scenarios

    I must remind you that the possibility of an onshore converter station was (and remains) concurrent with the 4 O&M Scenario Mapping exercise.

    Please refer to SPR’s AnT project updates: Sep 2012/Jan 2012 /OCT 2011/Sep 2011. Please note NTA had cause earlier this year to submit to Marine Scotland a critique of SPR’s public information and Consultation.

    I attach a further presentation (below) why this ‘final’ report must branded as part of a ‘project in progress’

    I look forward to your ensuring that any report published is an accurate reflection of its objectives.
    ++

    The further presentation to above is :-
    ++
    TIREE ONSHORE MAPPING

    Whilst at Thursday’s meeting I refrained from drawing attention to certain specifics, the following supports my view that this report can be no more than a small part of a larger report on a more significant, and substantive project still in progress.

    With ref to the tender document:-

    4.2.1 The mitigation hierarchy has not been addressed. The first level of the mitigation hierarchy is avoidance. This report implies that mitigation is a mere a contra accounting exercise with an assumption that the proposed Array constitutes a benefit.

    4.2.3 Has this been achieved? I don’t think so. I request you to disavow me of my perspective.

    4.2.4 What substantive communication has there been with the HHB etc. The health impact study has yet to commence.

    With ref to my consultation submission to the Draft Report in May 2012 .The following still have to be addressed :- .

    Harbour:- Still lacks any detail as to its onshore impact. In its own right this would be a major civil engineering project requiring its own EIA .No substantive detail is offered.

    Tourism;- Impacts still to be assessed.

    Marina:-. Continues to be no more than a ‘sweety shop’ distraction. It is meaningless and reckless to flag this up unaccompanied by any coherent study. Who will be the investor;- SPR Marina 2020 Ltd ? Can a marina assume planning permission? Any Tiree marina can only have functionality if it is included in the fundamental criteria of any harbour upgrade.

    Decommissioning:- No reference. Tiree suffered ,and still suffers, from the detritus of WW2. Any onshore mapping scenario must address decommissioning.

    Wage distribution:-. Still no study .Wage distortion could precipitate a terminal decline in Tiree’s current successful socio –economy.

    Demographic shift:- . No study offered, nor any indication that there will be one. This is the most serious omission in the process to date.

    I find it offensive that NTA can generate national interest on the statutory provision re the impact of the migrating and social habits of basking sharks and great northern divers, yet, with regard to people there is no such statutory provision. Lack of ‘people’ provision was a major criticism offered by many attendees at the Consultation meetings with regard to the 2011 Draft Plan. The legislation in this respect is flawed and its implementation may be negligent, if this issue continues to be ignored

    Scenario 1 represents a seismic shift in Tiree’s demography. Scenario 4 is a lesser version of Scenario 1.

    I do not know of any national, or international experience, that suggests a demographic shift of these proportions, has had anything other than negative socio-economic consequences.

    This report can only be regarded as part of a project still in progress.

    It was the overwhelming sentiment of the meeting this project has to be continued, and its agenda expanded.

    I await positive developments.

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    Moderators Comment;Rob, at the outset, stated to the meeting that any contribution he made was on a personal basis, and not as a representative of NTA.
    =================================================================

    Audrey Martin of A&B Council has replied (5th Oct) as follows
    ++

    It was good to meeting with you on Tiree and I thank you for taking the time to come along to the drop in event and the presentation in the evening and we welcome your thoughts and views. In regard to the specific issue/key points made by yourself I would comment as follows.

    Key points made

    What is the status of the report – this is non-statutory piece of work and is for information purposes only based on a particular point in time and the information available to us at that time.

    The report should not be concluded at this time as things will be developed further and changes coming forward from the developer will impact on the report – As stated above we will review the position in 6 months’ time to determine if there have been any changes that would impact on the scenarios. We have always been aware that the development of the scenarios was based on the information available at a particular point in time and that as information coming forward changes and the development advances there will be greater clarity as to the potential implications on shore form such a development.

    The report does not contain sufficient information as regard impact on infrastructure as a consequence of the convertor station and or from the harbour development – Given that we do not know which of the scenarios the developer will adopt and given that there is still very limited information in regard to each of the four we are not yet in a position to determine impacts at this level of detail. The scenario mapping is based on assumptions and until further detail is available and there is clarity on the actual scenario being taken forward it would not be feasible to undertake more detailed work on these. The developer will consider the detailed impact from any onshore requirements as part of their EIA. It is hoped that further information will be available relative to the convertor station at the SPR information event at the end of this month.

    Data sources used have not been through due process – this relates to a background report that was referenced as part of the economic consideration. The background report was commissioned through ARC. It does not have a specific locus for the on shore scenario mapping but is a source available for background socio economic information.

    I can advise that the final report will be placed on the Council web site next week and a copy will be issued to No Tiree Array and the Tiree Trust. We hope that the community have found this exercise of benefit and we wish to continue to engage with the community and will revisit the scenarios in 6 months’ time.

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  3. andrew

    I fail to understand the whole impact assessment business, when the space devoted to animal and flora wellbeing is cosmically greater than that devoted to human well being. All can think of is that animals can’t talk back or complain. In effect nothing as changed since the early days when then scoping documents were produced – far more worried about nature than mankind. The onshore converter scenario could be the very worst, and should trigger a whole lot of assessments, and effects of different scenarios depending on so many things. There are many examples of these onshore monstrosities. The one given doesn’t really give an impression of the vastness of the building or the light pollution of perimeter lights. It is extremely disappointing that SPR do really do their abilities justice – they could easily, and quickly provide people with photos of possible buildings. As to the poor attendance, I guess this likely to be due to very slow process that is going on and possibly the mistrust of people involved that anything can be done about this. People can’t wake up smell the coffee untill it is about brewed.

    Moderators Comment:It has been like drawing hens’s teeth to get any substantive information from SPR since the proposed Array was announced in Feb 2009.This is why NTA made its submission to Marine Scotland. The associated detail you refer to above,to give any credence to SPR’s claim to community communication and transparency , must accompany any public presentation.

  4. Tim Arkless

    Again SPR talking a load of lies and twisting and turning .
    No one from SPR has actually said anything about the one thing that affects them with Offshore or Onshore Converter Station –COST
    1. Offshore everything has to be certrified to Offshore regulations
    2. Building Offshore- time consuming , weather dependant, and you need a platform or jacket or concrete base to put the Converter hardware on.
    3. Operations offshore- you need to have all personnel Offshore trained and you need more people – Marine crew , maintenance . catering and you need helicopters and supply boats- eg you run it like an offshore oil platform
    4. Weather- it affects everything offshore

    So please no more weasel talk from SPR on

    “Reference was made to the 4th quarter 2011 public consultation events, from which it had emerged that placing off shore any HVDC converter was the preferred community option . SPR’s concession to this conclusion was to state it was ‘minded’ to do so”

    How about a cost estimate from SPR Offshore vs Onshore

    Moderators comment : There is an interesting issue emerging. SPR, not withstanding they are ‘minded ‘ to keep it offshore, have hinted vaguely that some benefit issues of an onshore station need to be brought to the attention of the Tiree Community at their forthcoming Public Information Day (30 Oct) .These are understood to be some very small employment potential, if in fact this Array ever gets consent. One assumes therefore SPR will at the same time address the financial benefit they will offer ‘to lubricate’ community acceptance of any onshore converter.

    This week an onshore substation in Norfolk gained consent accompanied by the developer putting £100,000 per year ( note per year ) into a community fund. The substation footprint is 15 acres.

  5. Tim Arkless

    Thanks for that info 15 acres is just under 250 m x 250 m

    So that is about the same size as covering all the Machair behind the post office right up to the edge of the sea and upto the entrance to Pier view houses

    Or including the school and all the machair behind the school upto the millhouse Hostel bounded by the roads that go to the school -plus roads in and out for heavy vehicles

    and it would have lights – noise and fences
    Yes an industrial area

    Moderators comment: This converter station was for the 560MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm. It incorporates the National Grid connection . SPR have still to advise the full Natl Grid connection for the proposed Array . 1000mw is via Dalmally. How it gets from the proposed Tiree Array(1800MW) has not been finalised. That leaves 800MW unaccounted for.

  6. Tim Arkless

    Further notes

    The Norfolk wind farm Dudgeon

    The Dudgeon site, where the wind turbines will be installed, is located 32km offshore from Cromer. Approximately 100 turbines will be located there, depending on the model of turbine chosen, generating up to 560MW.- http://www.offshorewind.biz/2012/10/01/dow-receives-permission-for-necton-onshore-substation-uk/

    So this is about is about 1/2 the size of Tirre / argyll Array
    Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the converter station will be bigger for Tiree

    Note the Dudgeon wind farm is actually offshore being 32 km from land not 5 km as proposed by SPR

  7. David Sibbald

    SPR have already made up their mind, just follow the money, it’s easier and cheaper for them to build an colossal industrial yard on Tiree, claim some more taxpayer money through Highland and Islands Enterprise for ‘jobs created’ and capital spent that gets them a further discount vis a vis the offshore costs. The plan and costings for this are sitting in their offices in Glasgow everything else is just smoke and mirrors to create an illusion of a considered due process, it’s nonsense and actually quite insulting.

    Tiree is the offshore platform, we just happen to be living on it. Management at SPR do what they’re told from Madrid, they have no independent authority and they have no budget other than the budget approved from Iberdrola who have publicly declared their number one priority is debt reduction, why would they elect to pick anything but the cheapest option. If we’re expecting anything that resembles honesty and transparency from SPR management we’ll be disappointed, those individuals don’t deal in that, they only respond to what Madrid tells them to do, that’s why they’re doing that job and not something else. So we should think though an appropriate set of actions against a decision that has been taken but will never see the light of day until it’s too late.

    Moderators Comment :The concept of Tiree becoming an off shore platform is not in realm of fantasy. Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation to derive a Sectorial Marine Plan of which ‘ the outcome will be an updated set of areas where offshore wind energy could develop’ .

    Click on this link for the map of these areas.

    re ‘thinking through an appropriate set of actions ‘ NTA is a conference in Perth this w/end which may offer an input to a set of actions… NTA will revert next week with outcome

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