Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Tralorg Hill wind farm # 2

On Tuesday September 13 2011, the Carrick Gazette published a short article about the delay in submission of the Tralorg Hill wind farm planning application. In the article, the Carrick Gazette state the reason for the delay as being a technical issue, and more specifically the lack of a useable interconnect to the National Grid. Now in reality, I'm pretty sure this isn't news to the developers, unless they really have been sleeping on the job. I imagine the real reason for the delay is that negotiations over one or more wayleaves may have stalled. Whatever the real reason, one good piece of news is that the number of turbines now being proposed has been reduced to 8 and that the blade size has also been reduced.

This situation with Tralorg Hill got me thinking. How many more of the proposed wind farms in the South Carrick area haven't got access to local interconnect facilities and could thus result in yet another set of cables marching off to Maybole or some other destination, for connection to the National Grid? This really is a demonstration of the lack of clear, coordinated thinking that isn't going on. Hadyard Hill wind farm is quite literally just a stone's throw from Tralorg Hill. I assume the Hadyard Hill connection cannot be utilised because it doesn't have the capacity to carry the additional load (please don't tell me that there is the capacity in those lines, but the two operators can't or won't agree how they can work together). So, if one wind farm cannot share another's interconnect, does this mean every wind farm is going to need a dedicated interconnect of its own? I will certainly look a lot closer at those planning applications now; never has the subject of National Grid cable interconnection been so interesting to me!

I do remember reading an article some while ago about the lack on interconnect facilities in many rural areas, although at the time the significance didn't hit home. However, I think it just did.....