A decision to halt the scheme for an underwater sea cable from Kintyre to Hunterston Power Station in Ayrshire could spell the end of further wind farm development in Kintyre.
It is also possible the move could stifle potential tide and wave energy development in the area in the future.
This speculation comes after plans to reinforce the Kintyre electricity network by installing a 132,000 volt cable to Hunterston have been suspended.
A consultation process for a possible project was held earlier this year in Carradale to discuss SSE Power Distribution installing the underwater cable to Hunterson and Councillor Rory Colville is very disappointed at this decision.
He said: ‘It is my understanding that there is still considerable scope particularly in South Kintyre at suitable locations for further wind farm developments, not to mention the limitless possibilities for tide and wave which exist around the Argyll coast line.
‘Whilst realising that this is very much a chicken-and-egg situation I am really concerned that what many saw as a unique opportunity for renewable energy production in not just Kintyre, but other parts of Argyll, could be lost should this project not proceed.
‘I have therefore written to SSE and asked that they take cognisance of the many projects at the planning stage which could be jeopardised if they decide not to proceed.
‘I have also contacted Argyll and Bute Council’s Development Services and Alan Reid MP and asked them to investigate why this decision has been taken.’
SSE Power Distribution suspended its work after ‘the volume of renewable energy on Kintyre has reduced’ since the company had first initiated the consultation.
It is now reviewing the requirement for the Kintyre to Hunterston connection.
Alan Reid, MP for Argyll and Bute is also planning on writing to Scottish and Southern Energy urging them not to abandon the plans. He said: ‘There are sites in Kintyre suitable for wind farms which would be acceptable to the planners and would not spoil the view for tourists.
‘In the view of the uproar over the Beauly-Denny pylons, undersea cables are the ideal solution.’
There is still capacity in Kintyre for more wind turbines, but there is still the need for more ways for renewable energy to be transmitted from the remote areas of Kintyre to areas such as Glasgow and the underwater cable could be the answer if the plans are to go ahead.
31 August 2007