Visualisations, or their lack of presentation, were to prove the one of the more vexatious issues with SPR from the outset. This was to continue throughout the 4 years of the project till it was dropped in Dec 2013.
NTA produced the first visualisations of the proposed Tiree Array in Jan 2011, 6 months prior to SPR’s presentation.
SPR’s refusal, and /or lack of co-operation on the issue, was supported by the planning process, with the specious logic that as nothing was finalised ,and everything may change, there was no point in offering visualisations.
The ‘Construction’ page offers videos of current offshore wind farm construction .
No visualisation can represent what may be finally adopted/developed. All a visualisation can do is offer a representation of the scale, and impact, of the proposed Tiree Array.Some visualisations are by SPR, and some by NTA.
NTA has recently added a Night-time Visualisations page:- The above at dusk becomes ;-
THE VISUALISATION SAGA:
Feb 2009:- Proposed Tiree ( Argyll) Array announced. No Visualisations offered.
Sept 2010: SPR public information day. Tiree advised visualisations would be presented.They were not and ‘Misunderstanding‘ was offered by SPR as the explanation.
June 2011: SPR PID . Visualisations and Montages presented. SPR advise they had been taken in “best visibility conditions”. An immediate cross check with MET Office data contradicted SPR’s statement. Met office data showed ‘best visibility conditions‘ occurred later in the day, when SPR’s visualisation consultants were still on Tiree.
June-Aug 2011 . Visualisations intermittently on view @Tiree ‘s Cattle Market then withdrawn. NTA’s website became the sole access to Array visualisations.
May 2012 : SPR, at last,published their visualisations on their website. Note SPR only offered 4 viewpoints. At the comparable consultation stage for the Atlantic Array ( Bristol Channel) the developer had produced visualisations from more than 100 viewpoints. The Atlantic Array is smaller(188- 278 turbines), and further off shore. The Atlantic Array is around 14 km from closest point on North Devon coast, 22.5km from closest point on South Wales coast, and 13km from Lundy Island. The proposed Tiree Array (215-300 turbines) is only 5 Km from shore.
Oct 2012 : SPR advise ‘considering reducing‘ the area of proposed Array by approx 30% thereby reducing the number of turbines to approx 215x6MW. SPR advised they were ‘proposing to have updated photomontages available on their project website’. This did not happen, presumably due to SPR’s decision,5 weeks later, to put the Array on hold.
Dec 2012: SPR put the project on hold. SPR use the IF word re any possible re-start.
This Oban Times video remains the most accessible visual presentation of the proposed Array. It is well worth a look, your time will be rewarded .
SPR’s website visualisations need to be scrutinised very closely to ascertain their full visual impact. Cross referencing with the Oban Times video assists.
Zone of Theoretical Visibility:,ie how many turbines can be seen from any location is a very important montage. This is presented below .
Over -arching analysis :
(1) Rarely will any one on Tiree’s public roads be out of sight of 181-240Turbines .
(2) Virtually no area of Tiree will be out of sight of any turbine
(3) Some areas, incl Upper Vaul ,will have permanent sight of ALL turbines (300).
To zoom in for the detail give some time to d/load this file.
Scale: Comparison of Skerryvore to Turbines and Offshore Convertor Station.
This image is of 3.6MW turbines installed at the Gwent Mor(N Wales-Wirral) offshore windfarm. From this viewpoint, they are 18km offshore. This is much further offshore than the 5km proposed for the Tiree Array. The turbines installed are smaller than the turbines considered for the proposed Tiree Array (6MW). The latter’s tip height can be anything from 15m to 40m higher than this image .
This image is to highlight any potential discrepancy between a computer generated image, as in the visualisations offered to date, and an actual image of a installed turbines , much further offshore than the proposed Tiree Array.
This is a vexatious subject and one which would appear to the ‘foundation‘ ( excuse the pun!!) for SPR putting a halt to the ARRAY ‘ with a view to (SPR) developing a technical solution that is fit for purpose in dealing with the physical characteristics of this site‘
The current appropriate foundations would be either (1) Jacket or (2) Gravity, with Jacket the current market leader.
(1) Jacket, illustrated below, require piles to be driven into the seabed. The jacket is then inserted into the piles .
Jacket Foundations require ‘ hammering’ in piles. Tiree’s geology is not conducive to ‘hammering’ piles. Explosives are not an option, and will incur considerable environmental opposition.
The seabed has to be leveled /in-filled to provide a level base. The tolerance is minimal. This may be a geological impossibility for any proposed Tiree Array.To attempt to do so would create incalculable environmental damage.
Scour protection could prove an intangible concept for the Tiree Array. Tiree fisherman’s regulary have to recover fleets of lobster creels swept several miles away from the Skerryvore Reef, after Tiree gales .
The trajectory of the market would appear to prefer the jacket foundation as Arrays go deeper with larger (6MW) turbines.
This recent (NOV2012) report of foundation issues at a Belgian Off shore Array addresses, in detail ,all the issues.
The project started with Gravity foundations and switched to Jacket foundations .
Site preparation,foundations piling, and scouring protection all combine to conclude current turbine foundation technology is not Argyll(Tiree) Array suitable.
This possibly explains why SPR has called a halt to the Tiree Array ‘with a view to developing a technical solution that is fit for purpose in dealing with the physical characteristics of this site‘.
Having ducked ‘n dived on this issue SPR, at last, ‘came out’ in Oct 2012..For the moment SPR is ‘minded‘ to put this off-shore. SPR has re-stated its intention is off- shore,but SPR is not equivocal, and retains the on-shore option.
Please refer to the Onshore Scenario Mapping page for fuller information.
These CADs are of a possible Tiree on- shore convertor station to SPR’s dimensions.
SPR indicate two units each (75mX100mX35m) on foundations 22m above sea level will be required for Tiree Array, if consented.
They will be BIG …. very BIG
These images are of a convertor half the size of the off shore convertor SPR indicate Tiree Array’s will require. If consented Tiree Array will require 2 of them!
This Siemens link has a must view VIDEO.
It is an essential view, and read, to comprehend the scale of development proposed.
Siemens describe ‘the platforms look like soccer fields suspended a good 20 meters in the air…’
The prospect of 2 structures each the size of Hampden/Murrayfield,a few miles offshore Tiree, is grotesque.
At night, lit up, they will be in defiance of SNH’s highlighting ,in Marine Scotland’s scoping opinion to SPR, “that ‘dark skies‘ are a major attribute to Tiree”
Visualisation of one of the intended Convertor stations alongside Skerryvore.
Offshore convertors for Tiree Array would be approx twice the size of this one under construction.
This video gives a further perspective
SUB-STATIONS: In addition to the 2 HVDC Converters , the Tiree Array would have also included substations. SPR has just rolled out the substation for their Wilkinger project (Aug 2016). SPR showed its Spanish owner ship by ordering this substation and its foundation platform from Spanish shipyards. SPR’s Tiree Array required 4/6 such sub-stations and foundations .
Night Time Visualisation;
SPR has refused to present any night time visualisations. SNH makes specific reference in Marine Scotland’s Scoping opinion for the Array that ‘ dark skies at night are a major attribute to Tiree ‘ .
A single turbine at night will look thus:-
NTA’s dialogue with the CAA indicates that only the perimiter turbines , approx 3 km apart, will be required to be lit. These turbines ,rotating at night will give constant flicker. Most of Tiree is in line of sight of the hub of Tilley and sees its constant night flicker.
A phalanx of constant night-light flicker can be expected from the Array’s turbines , and its convertor stations lit up like a Xmas trees.
And a visualisation not to be missed …. Downwind Micro-Climate Impact.
For those following Turbine design/options click on this link
The only 10MW at the design stage is this SWAY (Norway) unit.
Designed for 10 metres/s+ conditions, the main specifications include 164-metre rotor diameter with three rotor blade supports (eliminating the need for a rotor hub), a 13m/s rated wind speed and 12rpm nominal speed.
Note :not a single Scottish/UK designer and /or manufacturer features in any of the turbine/foundation/transmission options.
The much hyped ‘new Scottish Industrial Revolution’ is industrial colonisation.
NTA hopes these visualisations offer an over-all impression of the visual impact of the proposed Array .
NTA looks forward to your comments.
This scoping report for the Dogger Bank Array offers details and visuals, which SPR has yet to produce for the proposed Tiree Array. Allow time to upload.
These are some of the reactions to visualisations of the proposed Array :
“Shocking in the extreme, the full size images would leave any real environmentalist reaching for the phone…..”
“I am absolutely stunned. I had no idea about this. …”
” Like other contributers to this website, I was not aware until very recently that this monstrous proposal was being mooted; became aware of it when holidaying on Tiree end of June beginning of July 2011. I have been going to Tiree for many years and cannot believe the authorities would even entertain this proposed vandalism.”
After SPR’s presented their visualisations one person commented:-
“If NTA had produced these visualisations I would quite frankly not have believed them. The fact that SPR are prepared to share these views with us demonstrates their complete lack of respect fot this beautiful island.
If it were not obvious before it must now be beyond doubt that these obscene proposals are resisted by all who cherish the Hebrides.”
“I cant believe that anyone would even consider doing this , it will ruin the island for its natural beauty, tourist industry, wind surfers, wild /marine life forever,how very sad. Please do everything to stop them!!”