Scottish Executive Energy Consents Unit




Many thanks to all who signed the petition.

However, the applications for the Muaitheabhal Wind farm on the Eisgein Estate and the Pairc Wind Farm are still under consideration.

The MUAITHEABHAL WINDFARM PUBLIC INQUIRY to examine the impact of the Muaiatheabhal Windfarm on the South Lewis, Harris and North Uist National Scenic Area is to start on May 13 2008. It will be held in the Caladh Inn, James Street Stornoway Isle of Lewis.


PETITION UPDATE 27 December 2006

In a press release dated 12 December 2006, Amec and British Energy (who have jointly named themselves Lewis Wind Power for their proposed Lewis Wind Farm development) announced that a revised proposal had been submitted to the Scottish Executive for their planned wind farm on the Isle of Lewis. The amended application would involve the building of 181 of the world's largest turbines in the same area as the previous application except with 53 turbines removed for environmental reasons. The 181 turbines are reportedly more powerful than the turbines in the original application. See Press and Journal article "GIANT WINDFARM OPPOSED BY NINE OUT OF 10 RESIDENTS" - 12 December 2006 on website : http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk

In April 2006 Beinn Mhor Power submitted a revised application for 53 giant turbines on the Eisgein Estate, a reduction on their original application for 133 turbines but stating that the new application was Phase 1 of the windfarm. In April 2004 Scottish and Southern Energy submitted a Scoping application for the Pairc Wind Farm, for 125 giant turbines in the Pairc region of Lewis adjoining the Eisgein estate. This is still under review.

These revised/amended plans and talk of phased production raise concerns whether further wind farms would be constructed once the initial phases were complete. The undersea cable from the Western Isles to the mainland represents a huge capital outlay and would only be justified if the Western Isles produced a large amount of electricity. Given the intermittent nature of wind power, how many wind turbines would be required on the Western Isles to justify the cost of an undersea cable and interconnector?

Considering the ecologically sensitive and environmentally valued characteristics and landscape of the island, the revised wind farm applications would still represent a massive and damaging intrusion which is overwhelmingly opposed by the vast majority of islanders, particularly those in the affected areas. (The Press & Journal article referred to above relates to this).

When viewed against the 2 billion tonnes CO2 annual emissions from the degraded peatlands of South East Asia (see http://www.wetlands.org/ckpp ) any carbon savings that would reportedly be made by any of the Lewis wind farms is completely immeasurable. All carbon savings claimed by windfarm developers are set against the CO2 emissions of the older, more inefficient coal-fired power stations. Therefore when compared with hydro and nuclear power generating stations that produce practically zero CO2 emissions, a windfarm built on peatland like the Lewis Peatlands could arguably produce excess, rather than save CO2. Windfarms require conventional power stations to be on permanent standby at all times, to compensate for slack winds, or when very windy conditions require that the turbines are "feathered" (stopped), thereby emitting even more CO2.

We, the undersigned therefore strongly object to the following developments for the Isle of Lewis:

1. We object to Lewis Wind Power's proposed Lewis Wind Farm on North West Lewis
2. We object to Beinn Mhor Power's proposed Wind Farm on the Eisgein Estate
3. We object to Scottish and Southern Energy's proposed Pairc Wind Farm in the Pairc region of Lewis


December 7, 2005

This URGENT, international petition has been set up to protest against the planned construction of a massive wind farm/factory on the island of Lewis, Western Isles (Outer Hebrides) of Scotland - so massive, it would be the LARGEST WINDFARM IN THE WORLD!

Lewis faces exploitation at the hands of multi-national energy firms. Amec and British Energy (who have jointly named themselves Lewis Wind Power)have submitted plans for the huge Lewis Windfarm development - plans to build a total of 234 giant wind turbines on the small island of Lewis, which only measures approximately 60 km (37 miles) by 30 km (19 miles). The turbines are 140 metres (462 feet) high and their blade diameter is 80-100 metres - longer than a JUMBO JET!

The overwhelming majority of the residents of Lewis strongly oppose this massive scheme, as do environmentalists and ornithologists. Official figures released by the Scottish Parliament regarding the Lewis Wind Power proposal are :- 6,131 objections received, of which 4,573 were from residents of Lewis, and 17 responses in support of the windfarm. These figures show that for every local person who wrote to support the scheme, 269 people wrote to object!! Why then, are they being ignored?

The site for the proposed windfarm lies in and along the Lewis Peatlands Special Protected Area - a UN Ramsar site - protected by EC Habitats Directive.

The urgency of this petition lies in the fact that, despite OVER 6000 OBJECTIONS to the Lewis Windfarm proposal having been submitted, with 75% coming from the islanders themselves, and despite the Lewis Peatlands' protected status, the Scottish Executive is STILL considering the scheme and is expected to make a decision soon.

The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is extremely concerned at the potential number of birds which could be killed by turbine collision at the windfarm. According to the developers' own Environmental Statement the numbers estimated are: 50 golden eagles, 50 merlin and up to 150 red-throated divers during the 25 year lifetime of the development. These kills exclude impacts with transmission lines. Migrating whooper swan, corncrake and white-tailed eagle will also be affected by the proposal. 6255ha of active blanket bog - an internationally rare habitat - could be damaged by construction and road works, resulting in a staggering 4% of the entire GB population of dunlin and 1.5% of the golden plover population being lost due to habitat loss.
See: http://www.rspb.org.uk/scotland/action/lewis/index.asp

The environmental impact on the peat bog will be enormous. Each turbine will have a base and hardstanding of up to 1,800 square metres and 2.5 million cubic metres of peat would be excavated during the project's construction.
See: http://www.imcg.net/threat/03.htm

The Lewis peatlands is one of the world's last great peat bogs, a carbon sink locking up atmospheric carbon dioxide and playing a vital role in regulating climate change. The Kyoto Protocol calls for the preservation of carbon sinks. Why then, is this one not being protected?

Further to the turbines, 210 pylons with transmission lines - nine electrical sub-stations, nine wind monitoring masts, six rock quarries (excavating 4 million cubic metres of rock), eight temporary compounds and numerous concrete batching plants would be built, as well as 167km of road across the Lewis Peatlands area. This is unparalleled in any existing wind farm development anywhere in the world today!

In addition, tourism brings in an estimated £40-60 million annually to the Western Isles and represents a major source of income for the island. The disfigurement that this project will inflict on the remote, unspoilt landscape will certainly dissuade tourists from visiting, and greatly diminish the income gained from this essential sector.

Hard on the heels of the Lewis Windfarm application are two other submissions for large-scale wind farm developments in the scenic Pairc Peninsula area of Lewis - also Important Bird Areas and conservation areas - where a further 258 industrial turbines could be built. Beinn Mhor Power has submitted an application for 133 giant turbines on the Eisgein Estate and Scottish and Southern Energy has submitted a scoping application for the Pairc Windfarm - 125 giant turbines.

If the Lewis Windfarm gets approved by the Scottish Executive, will Lewis and maybe the rest of the Western Isles be transformed into a massive wind factory?

Extracts from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2003: "The pressures on ecosystems will increase until human attitudes and actions change. Achieving this change, however, will require radical alterations in the way nature is treated at every level of decision-making and new ways of cooperation between government, business and civil society. The warning signs arc there for all to see. The future lies in our hands."
See: http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/article.aspx?id=58

LEWIS NEEDS YOUR HELP TODAY! The Scottish Executive MUST be convinced that by allowing these monstrous windfarms, the Western Isles will suffer a terrible loss far greater than any potential bonus that might be gained by some people from the developments.

We, the undersigned, petition against and object to the massive Lewis wind farm proposals currently before the Scottish Executive, in strong support of local opposition and other objections submitted thus far.

We, the undersigned therefore strongly object to the following developments for the Isle of Lewis:

1. We object to Lewis Wind Power's proposed Lewis Wind Farm on North West Lewis
2. We object to Beinn Mhor Power’s proposed wind farm on the Eisgein estate
3. We object to Scottish and Southern Energy’s proposed Pairc Wind farm in the Pairc region of Lewis

We object on all the grounds mentioned in the petition description namely:

1. The adverse effect which the construction and location of the massive windfarms will have on an environmentally and ecologically valuable global region
2. The adverse effect which the industrialisation of an island as pristine and unspoilt as Lewis will have on its tourism industry and on the residents of Lewis dependent on that industry
3. The adverse effect which the huge turbines, pylons and transmission lines will have on migratory and breeding bird populations in the region
4. The fact that despite overwhelming opposition to the schemes indicated in polls taken on Lewis and objection letters submitted thus far to the Scottish Executive - all with Western Isles Council’s councillors’ knowledge - the majority of the Western Isles Council’s councillors voted to approve the abovementioned projects. The Western Isles Council totally disregarded the opinion of the majority of the islanders and it is in support of these islanders that this petition was set up.

We suggest that other forms of ecologically and environmentally compatible energy sources be considered speedily and that tourism to, and trade with, the Western Isles be promoted to boost its economy, thereby encouraging growth in that region.

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The URGENT Petition to Save Isle of Lewis from Massive Windfarm Development petition to Scottish Executive Energy Consents Unit was written by Norma Ittmann and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.