This page offers comprehensive visualisations of the proposed Array and the saga to obtain them!. From Balephuil image edit 6 May 2013

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.  Skerryvore  with turbines and Convertor statiion(4) mAY2013


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 ;-


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 Visualisations intermittently on view @Tiree ‘s Cattle Market then  withdrawn.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 .

To see how many turbines you will see from any location , zoom in on your chosen location on this  chart 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.

Skerryvore dwarfed !!

Balephuil view of the Array

10 MW Turbines From Balevullin

View from Sandaig

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 foundation

 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.

(2) Gravity


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 .

wilkinger substation  aug 2016



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.

Micro Climate Issues : Does Tiree need more Mist and Rain!!!


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!!”





6 thoughts on “Visualisations

  1. Philippe Pierrisnard

    I find the visualisations eventually posted by SPR considerably worse than anything NTA has come up with before. This looks like the iron curtain. It is hard to comprehend that anyone in his right mind would argue that the visual impact is anything else than obscene. This, I discern, is the most likely explanation why SPR have dragged their legs to make these documents available for public consumption. I feel that it is fair to accuse SPR of failing one of its most basic obligations – accurately and timely informing the public. SPR does not have the privilege of deciding what can be made public. Indeed, anyone with the slightest interest on Tiree will make the effort to download those ‘huge’ electronic files.

    The Tiree Array industrial development is proposed in an area of public interest, with many parties having rights for voicing their opinion, expressing their fears and/or aspirations, for seeking and obtaining accurate facts and timely information and, ultimately, for ensuring that their positions have been duly incorporated.

    NTA shall ensure that no stone is left unturned and that no one is left outside.

  2. Karl

    I think SPR might of been as well to use our original visualisations…they would have saved themselves a lot of cash and would have been seen to be actively involved in community consultation.

    We all know that the reason the now defunct Kintyre windfarm was dropped was in the main to do with aesthetics. SSE released the photo’s and the farm was dropped.

    This coincided with the SPR claim that they were also going to show the Tiree community the images but somebody had “left them in the office”…

    It all boils down to corprate responsibility issues…



  3. Ranald Noel - Paton

    These visualisations demonstrate the true horror of the adjacency of this Array to the Island of Tiree. To consider this as “Off – Shore” is a scam of unprecedented proportions. Current National opinion seems to be growing against “On – Shore”development, with “Off – Shore” being acceptable.These images must correct this.

  4. Joe Kavanagh

    As a Tiree resident I am not only appalled at these visions but equally shocked at the feeble response from from the residents of our beautiful Island if it were not for the people of the NTA we would have no voice no resistance which equals = No choice ! Good luck NTA and this comes from someone NOT trying to make a buck out of SPR……

  5. Scott

    I think many of your images misrepresent how they could look, for real examples have a look on google maps and streetview for Estinnes, Belgium at the Enercon E-126 turbines (198m max height of rotor at top point), you can select a road approx 5km away south of them and have a reasonable idea of what they actually look like at that distance. What is the real problem people have with this? it blocks their view of nothing? I can see an opportunity to massively help the infrastructure of the island and introduce a new industry to the island which could help the waining population levels. Either that or leave as is and have an empty island filled with holiday houses and no locals, great future for the young of Tiree.

    Moderators comment:-
    (1) Your assessment of visual impact is subjective. A Google street-map view of a Belgian 11-turbine on-shore windfarm cannot be offered as comparison for the proposed 300 turbine Tiree Array.
    (2) There is no image misrepresentation.(Please refer to SPR)
    (3) re Infrastructure:SPR stated at the outset(2010)it would make minimal investment in any island infrastructure.
    (4) re Introduce New Industry:- The Onshore Scenario Mapping exercise suggested otherwise.
    (5) The island is not empty.Your socio-economic scenario is subjective and lacks evidence.

    1. Tim Arkless

      Scott- You are talking the biggest load of b——ks I can think of.
      Waining population level– what do you know ? I have , among others, a two year old and three year old daughter (born on Tiree) – Last week we went to another island girl’s 3rd birhday party, there were over 15 tiree resident children in that age group there.

      Job opportunity- yes low level jobs painting fences and security guards, heliport security, admin people etc- in later years a few specialist maintenance guys who like climbing and the one or two electrical engineers.

      Tiree is a special ” Inhabited Wilderness” This development turns it into and Industrial estate.

      Have you ever been to Tiree ?
      Have you ever experienced how quiet it can be ?
      Have you walked on empty beaches?

      Have you ever spent time in Heliports- do you know how noisy they are? Do you know how big the construction of the converter station is relative to the size of buildings on Tiree.

      You are spewing out the same platitudes that SPR and Scottish Government use.

      Tiree does not need to be turned into an Industrial zone for the sake of Alex Salmond ego. Its not just about spoiling the view.

      ps I live on Tiree but work in Ofshore in Oil industry.
      I can never compare myself to some of Tirees great sea captains of past and present, but the island does have a tradition of people working away at sea.

      If you want ” Infrastructure” and everything the mainland has – then go and live on the mainland- anyway SPR will only offer minimun infrastructure and just put more strain on existing Island services.

      Tiree is a crofting and fishing Island with Increasing tourism income- which growth may in the future need to be reviewed/ controlled- But I feel the last thing we need is Industrialization on the £ 5 billion scale.

      Island life take it or leave it with all its negatives and positives- but dont industrialize Tiree with the justification it will mean that some teenagers can have jobs in an office so they can stay here.

      Selfish view point you might say but no less selfish than desecrating the island and surrounding sea area forever

      Moderators Comment:- I appreciate you edited your own ” strong ” language.

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