I was one of the community councillors who asked to go on the wind farm trip in September. I went to see if it proved my thoughts that Shetland could not absorb the visual impact of the Viking Energy project.
The simple answer is that it can’t – the land mass in Shetland is too small. The quantity and size of the turbines on the three sites we visited between Ayrshire and Inverness were much smaller compared to the turbines proposed for Shetland, so no comparisons could really be made.
The nearest house to see the Farr site near Inverness was 20 miles away. We travelled eight miles from the main road to reach the wind farm, which has a further 11.5 miles of road.
These roads on site are 18 feet wide, 65 feet including the verges. It did not look very good with yellow strips of dead grass running through the natural surrounding area. We were advised at this site that the carbon footprint during the construction had been ‘massive’.
A nearby resident could not see the farm from his property, but said he could not sleep with an open window due to the noise, probably made by the blades.
With regard to bird strikes we were told at the Braes of Doune that red kites had been introduced into the area. Two had been killed this summer, not by flying into the blades, but by being sucked into the back.
My personal opinion is that people living on the Scottish mainland are living with wind farms, whereas we in Shetland will be living on a wind farm, a prospect which does not appeal to me.
24 December 2007
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