Apologies if the Blog has been on the dark side for a few days. We really have descended into overload. Just when the mitigation work on the ‘Beauly Buzz’ was moving to completion, undergrounding is underground and fields turning green and we were hoping for some peace, all hell broke loose again. Work on the SVC is yet to be completed so we don’t yet know if it will be successful. At the moment it is perfect peace with the equipment out of service whilst the new barriers are erected. SSE have now dropped a bombshell. The Beauly-Loch Buidhe(Shin) line is to be doubled in capacity with larger towersand two massive new substations at Bonar Bridge and Alness and the Beauly to Blackhillock line is to become another 400KV Beauly-Denny size line with massive towers. An MSCDN is to be built within the Wester Balblair substation to balance the SVC, which is there to balance the wind energy, and also more new equipment, Quadrature Boosters are to be installed. Needless to say the paths that were to improve safety on the approach roads have still not been constructed and are now promised for a start in January, a great time of the year for groundworks! Beauly-Western Isles has again raised it’s ugly head and the remaining Beauly-Deaney line is to be re-engineered. This is all to support resilience in the structure to support the wind farms. We were told if the subsidy died, this would all die with it. Just when the possibility of peace descending on this beautiful area, it is to be rent again with uncontrolled development. The MSCDN (Mechanically Switched Capacitor with Damping Network) is to be installed under permitted development. So no chance for the planners to put any controls on it!
To hammer a nail in the coffin, Force 9 Energy have now announced plans for a seventeen turbine wind farm for EDF not six miles away, the Scottish Reporter overturned the refusal for a met mast at Kilmorack-Erchless(so much for democracy) and the decision on Bein Mhor has again been deferred as the applicants have failed to provide answers to questions. When will this ever stop?
The joke in all this is that we are also faced with the Community Empowerment Bill at a time when Communities feel less empowered than at any time in the past. For local people and community councils, who are not remunerated, this really does feel like a bad joke! After all we are up against highly paid and resourced companies who are determined to destroy all we hold dear! The hours that have to be given over to these issues are immense and when all said and done, the day job still has to be done to put bread on the table!
As one local put it succinctly, “I’ll be DEAD before this lot is completed”. We know that the time scale goes beyond 2024!!!