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Kilmelford Village Hall Facilities

Come and enjoy a game of squash or badminton at the Hall. Badminton £3 per hour. Squash £4 per hour. Please book at Kilmelford Village Stores 01852 200271.

Science of Energy.

Updated 21 April 2012

Have you ever wondered how Renewable energy works?

ALIenergy in partnership with Craignish Primary School brings you the "Science of Energy Day"

At Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern Thursday 26th April

Lots of fun science based activities 1-7pm
In depth Community Workshops 5-7pm

Admission is FREE.
Suitable for all ages.

ALIEnergy
Argyll, Lomond & the Islands Energy Agency

NEWSLETTER STAFF NEEDED

9th October 2010

For over 12 years, the Kilninford News was produced by thesame team of four. In April we lost Cath and Fiona Potter kindly agreed to take her place dealing with the advertising. Unfortunately, Fiona has found that increasing pressures at work make it impossible for her to commit beyond the current issue and, sadly, Elizabeth too has decided that she has too much on her plate to continue in her role as Treasurer.

Olwen (Goulding) has kindly agreed to take over from Elizabeth and we are grateful to Ian Bark who has also agreed to help out with collating and printing the Local Telephone Directory.

We are now looking for somebody willing to take over the advertising. This requires a reasonable amount of computer skills but nothing too high powered. We usually meet four times a year, a few weeks before each issue and for our AGM, and we then get on with our own particular roles in getting the newsletter to you. The revenue from our adverts is our only source of income and covers the costs of printing etc. and occasional donations to local charities. PLEASE WOULD ANYBODY WHO MIGHT CONSIDER TAKING ON THIS ROLE AND WHO WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT CONTACT FIONA (01852 200227) OR GEORGINA (01866 844212).

We are very grateful to Elizabeth, and to Robin, for all the work they have put into the newsletter over the years, and to Fiona for the two issues dealing with the advertising. Also a big thank you to Judith who frequently lands up in charge of printing the newsletter and to Melfort Club for allowing us to use their copier.

PLEASE WOULD ANYONE KNOWING OF ANY CHANGES FOR THE DIRECTORY please e-mail Fiona Wyllie at mail@fionaw.co.uk so that we can check with the new residents whether or not they would like to be included in the Directory.

Windfarm information.

Updated 05 February 2010

There is likely to be much interest in, and discussion of, windfarm issues over the next few months. We now have a new page within the Community Page on windfarms. It can be found here.

Last update - letter from Hugh Whittle, including some interesting questions that he would like to have answered, if anyone knows.

Please send in any additional information or opinion or letters you have for addition to this page.

ARDUAINE GARDEN SUPPORT GROUP

26th November 2009

Some 30 people met at Kilmelford Village Hall on the evening of Wednesday 9th September to hear what the Support Group (formerly known as the Arduaine Garden Action Group), had already achieved, and what they aim to achieve, in respect of keeping Arduaine Garden open for the foreseeable future.

This was the culmination of several months work by the Group since their first update at the community council meeting in April of this year, and it showed just how far things have progressed, and how successful they had been, since then.

The Steering Committee of the Group, led by Calum Ross, initially thanked the attendees, who included Councillors Dougie Philand and Elaine Robertson, Mike McKenzie representing Jim Mather MSP and Robert Ferguson, who represented the National Trust of Scotland itself.

A brief overview was provided by Rick Potter of the Group"s actions to date, explaining how through various means the Garden had gained a year"s reprieve, and that the Group, in collaboration with the NTS had already been working on a campaign to make this reprieve permanent.

Karen McCross then explained in more detail the three arms of the campaign - Commercial, which will include the NTS working in association with the Loch Melfort Hotel amongst others to offer a better and broader experience for visitors; Fundraising to allow the NTS to generate an Endowment Fund to cushion the deficit between income and expenditure; and AGSG actions, specific activities and events to raise awareness of the garden and encourage its broader use.

Rick Potter then went on to detail some of the many activities the Group intends to do to achieve this awareness, which will include increased publicity and regular media coverage. However he also indicated that, although there are free options available, others do cost money and that the Group needed funds to achieve this. It is therefore proposed to invite all those interested in supporting the garden to become members of the Arduaine Garden Support Group, for a small annual membership fee, in order to generate the relevant funds.

Coffee and biscuits were taken, and this allowed for a lot of further informal discussions before the meeting reconvened.

Having asked the attendees to read the proposed constitution during the break, in the penultimate session Calum talked through the need for a formal constitution and the key points of the proposed document including the proposals for membership/benefits and a steering committee to run the affairs of the group. Throughout the meeting there was considerable interest from the floor, and a large number of relevant questions and pertinent ideas were aired.

In summary, all relevant parties, National Trust for Scotland, Loch Melfort Hotel and the Arduaine Garden Support Group are equally committed to saving the garden for the long-term and the role of the AGSG is critical in the overall plan as visitor numbers need to be increased significantly. At the summing up it was clear from the audience"s response that they agreed in principle with the aims and ambitions of the Group - indeed some signed up for membership there and then.

Calum finished the meeting with a further appeal for as many people as possible to become members of the group (a membership application form is enclosed) and indeed for volunteers to join the Steering Committee. Finally, Calum thanked all for attending and for their contributions to the discussions. A first meeting of the Group"s membership would be convened within three months to formalise the Committee, constitution and direction of the Group

Windfarm information Part 2

Antoinette Mitchell
23 January 2010

SOME INTERESTING POINTS that you are never told by WIND FARM DEVELOPERS.

  • Scotland accounts for less than 0.17% of the global CO2 emissions.
  • Only 15% of that 0.17% is attributable to electricity generation.
  • Scotland"s targets for reducing CO2 emissions is 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. WF"s to produce electricity are overwhelmingly the largest stated means of achieving these targets.
  • So even if all the electricity was produced by wind farms the maximum reduction in CO2 emissions would still be 15% very well short of the 50% and 80% targets.
  • At the moment the majority of WF electricity is sold to England. Scotland can sustain itself with hydro power. Argyll has the second lowest CO2 emissions of any county in Scotland. It has already cut it"s emissions by 23% since 2005, the highest cut of any county. The latest proposed 720 hectare deforestation of Raera forest in 18months will not help this record when one considers that according to N"powers Non technical Statement, they estimate between 44-52 HGV movements per working day for the whole 18month construction period. This would surely add to both CO2 emissions and noise pollution. Each one of the proposed towers, minus the turbines is composed of at least 250metric tones of steel and each base has 400m3 tons of concrete. So their construction is not CO2 friendly.
  • The capacity of WF"s is only 25-30%. This means the output (KWh) from a 100 MW turbine would be the equivalent to the output of a 30MW turbine operating continuously at full power over the same period of time.
  • Wind speeds below 15mph and above 45mph are not useable. Due to the intermittency of wind blowing at the right speeds for the turbines to operate, if all our electricity was produced by wind farms, at times there would be no output from WF"s causing disastrous power failures. Therefore given this intermittent output, the amount of electricity that can be generated by wind farms without destabilising the national Grid or causing lengthy power cuts is 15-20%.
  • So the capacity of wind farms to reduce CO2 emissions is ONLY 15% of 15% =2.25% or a possible maximum of 3% compared with the targets of 50-80%. The effect on the global CO2 emissions then should this maximum electricity generation from wind farms occur would be 2.25% of 0.017% which is only 0.0038% or less!! With CO2 emissions from countries like India and China on the increase it is only a matter of weeks before Scotland"s efforts would be eclipsed.
  • The BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) so relied upon by the government is NOT an objective or scientifically based body it is the mouth piece of wind farm developers.

Raera Forest is in a potentially constrained area and anything done in it must comply surely with A and B"s policies on sensitive landscapes? I do not see how 15, 360foot industrial monoliths can possibly be seen as acceptable in an area of Panoramic Quality. These could be some of the largest in Europe. It will be seen within a 45Km radius.

There are already 7 wind farms consented within this 45Km radius, 4 are already working within a 35Km radius. There are 6 more on application and 2 more in scoping this does not include Raera. Soon everywhere you look you will see wind farms. Is Argyll to become the County of Wind Farms? Is this the way we are going to attract tourists?

Windfarm information and discussion.

Ewan G Kennedy
20 December 2009

COMMENTS ON THE RAERA WIND FARM PROPOSAL

In principle I am entirely in favour of the generation of power from renewable green sources.

Any form of power generation causes some disruption and comparing farms of wind turbines with other forms of generation adopted in the past shows that the new technology does far less damage. One only need reflect for a minute on the desolate landscape left behind in central Scotland from the coal industry, both deep mine and open cast, leaving enormous slagheaps in what were originally green fields, the unsightly cooling towers of the power stations, the destruction of scenic areas to form oil rig construction sites and so on. These older technologies were often dangerous to both the persons employed by them and the local residents. Society has not even begun to assess the long-term damage caused by our nuclear industry and the problems of waste storage.

Further it should be noted that other forms of green energy have caused disruption in their time. Our hydro-electric schemes were a post-War triumph of intelligent planning for the benefit of society (until they were flogged off for dogmatic reasons and short term political and financial gain by London-based politicians). However they too had their costs in terms of extreme local disturbance when inhabited valleys were flooded and the hazards to those involved in their construction.

By comparison with all this wind farms are extremely innocuous. Residents in our area who oppose them should reflect on the sacrifice made by their fellow human beings who are condemned to live in areas of traditional power generation and put their selfishness to one side.

Whether or not people find wind turbines unattractive or intrusive is obviously a matter of aesthetics. My personal view is that the turbines have a certain beauty not shared, for example, by traditional pylons, but others may find them ugly. It has to be assumed that they will have some detrimental effects for those who visit our area seeking a landscape unencumbered by signs of human activity. On the other hand tourists have for years accepted a landscape that has in part been formed by the efforts of the Forestry Commission and its privatised offshoots and before them by our farmers. Our countryside would look very different today had the ancestors of many of us not been removed forcibly to make way for the Cheviot.

Turning to the detail of the scheme at Raera it seems that the situation is ideal from the developer’s point of view. Wind is plentiful and the site is not too remote from the National Grid.

The density of the farm in relation to the area involved does not seem excessive and from many directions it seems the turbines will not be visible. They will mainly be seen by residents of Scammadale and the Isles of Seil and Luing, also by those sailing in Loch Melfort and waters nearby.

I suggest that the price to be paid by the local communities of Kilmelford, Kilninver and Seil (and to a lesser extent by Oban) will arise from two causes, the construction phase and any ongoing maintenance. With regard to the construction phase the representatives of RWE stated that the components would arrive in pieces and be assembled on site, with no requirement for a local fabrication site. While the statements were no doubt made in good faith it seems that the developers may prefer to find a local site where some operations can be carried out more conveniently. I suggest that KKCC should press the developers very strongly to make a full, detailed disclosure of their intentions about (a) where the components will come from and whether by sea or by land (b) how large are the individual parts and (c) how they are to be assembled at a remote hillside in typical Argyll weather. If RWE have made approaches to owners of other sites that could be suitable for assembly they should tell us.

It seems obvious that the group of turbines will require ongoing maintenance and repair. Potentially this could mean that our roads are congested with the transportation of large items and there could be local disruption at any sites where the work was being carried out. KKCC should ascertain from RWE, based on their experience with similar locations, exactly what they anticipate will be required after the farm is up and running.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT

In virtually all cases to date windfarm developers have recognised that local communities are being asked to bear some social cost and have offered financial compensation. I have done some research on what different companies have offered and have noted big differences. Just looking at RWE’s own website shows that they have been offering vastly different deals, showing that some communities have proved much more adept than others.

There is a lesson in this not only for community councils but for all affected local authorities and our MSPs. If we assume that there will be many more farms in future there should be a united front to secure the very best in each case.

What RWE have offered so far is entirely inadequate and they should be told so.

As I hope all our KKCC councillors are aware a good example of what can be achieved can be seen at Fintry. There the developer, Falck Renewables, an Italian company much smaller than the German RWE, agreed to fund an additional turbine for the benefit of the community. For what were no doubt corporate financial reasons the details of that deal were quite complicated. It involved Falck lending the cost of one turbine to an ad hoc company set up by the community, repayable over fifteen years. During that period the community would receive the surplus of the value generated less the repayments, then for the remaining projected ten year life of the turbine they would get the entire benefit.

At the recent meeting I mentioned Fintry to the RWE representatives and they questioned that the community were getting any significant benefit, so I checked the position. I was informed that expected benefits are of the order of £140,000 per annum net of repayments, and that this could rise to £200,000 at current prices after fifteen years.

Fintry Development Trust are very open about their figures and publish their accounts on the internet.

Plainly if such large sums are achieved there is the potential for a disagreement about how they should be spent. It would be highly disruptive if some individuals were able to lobby for pet projects. At Fintry the decision was taken in principle to devote all of the benefit to making the community carbon-neutral. Further, the actual distribution of the benefit by way of grants to organisations and individuals has been given to a government-backed body, the Energy Agency. The Agency carried out a local assessment and has produced detailed schemes for matters such as the installation of double glazing and installation.

At Fintry great results were achieved because there were hard-headed and well-informed local people who secured the backing of politicians at all levels. They have put a lot of thought into the process and the project has the backing of almost all the population. We can learn from them and we should ask them for assistance.

Ewan G Kennedy

Kilmelford, 20 December 2009

Useful website addresses -

www.fintrydt.org.uk www.energyagency.org.uk