Hitachi Report Recommends Investment In Wind Turbines To Reach Council’s Renewables Goal

wind turbineScilly could see up to seven wind turbines being erected, as well as new fields of solar panels, if councillors follow the recommendations being set out in a new Energy Efficiency Plan that’s been commissioned by the Council.

The report, written by the Japanese multinational company Hitachi, provides options for how the Council can achieve its stated goals of having 40% renewable energy production, 40% electric vehicle use and a 40% reduction in energy bills by 2025.

Authors of the plan say that to meet the renewable energy target, the islands will need to increase the amount of solar panels currently installed on properties, as well as adding new ‘solar gardens’ where the panels are fixed to the ground.

They also recommend installing wind turbines.

While a single, 100m tall, 1MW windmill would provide enough power to meet the goals, Hitachi feel that this would be visually unacceptable on the islands.

So they’re recommending installing seven smaller 100 to 250 Kw units, each around 45m high.

Potential sites have already been identified, including Telegraph Hill and Mount Todden on St Mary’s, Middle Carn and the old quarry on Tresco, St Martin’s fire station and St Agnes Island Hall.

survey by the Isles of Scilly Renewable Energy Co-operative (ISREC) in 2012 found widespread support amongst residents for the use of wind power.

Other sources of locally-produced energy will come from anaerobic digestion of sewage and food waste as well as burning gas from waste wood.

It’s expected the bill for this new infrastructure could be at least £8m.

But Hitachi says this will need to go hand-in-hand with a big investment in making our properties more energy-efficient, by adding insulation and using LED lighting.

Some properties could also get new battery packs to store energy generated by solar panels.

The report authors say the work is needed because of the aging infrastructure on the islands.

The electricity cable linking us to the mainland is now 28 years old and reaching the end of its estimated life.

And they recommend moving the current emergency power generator and fitting a new, more efficient unit.

Councillors will be asked to accept the report at Tuesday’s Transport, Economic Development and Infrastructure meeting, which is taking place at 6.30pm in the Old Wesleyan Chapel. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

You can read the report here.

45 Responses to Hitachi Report Recommends Investment In Wind Turbines To Reach Council’s Renewables Goal

  1. Disillusioned of Cornwall June 22, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    To paraphrase Christine Keeler (or Mandy Rice-Davies – whichever) they would do wouldn’t they? To say there is a degree of self-interest for Hitachi is an understatement! Recent reporting on the mainland indicates that the wind turbines in the UK are not the God-send we were promised due to our erratic winds. So Cornwall is now blighted with endless windmills, not to mention acres of solar panels. Do I have an answer – no, except to say wave energy must hold more of an answer for the islands I have loved and visited since I was a child. If you go down the route of serried ranks of turbines and solar panels you won’t have an energy problem because they will put off visitors – Catch 22 unfortunately.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins June 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      I beleive waves also suffer from erratic winds. Tidal is more reliable but even so you get slack periods four times daily not to mention serious conflict from fishing interests. The trouble with offshore wind & tidal developments is that they are vastly more expensive to install and personally I think the maintenance craft required burn more energy than is generated!If you have one marine installation then its just not cost effective with all the barges & heavy lifting equipment. At least on land there is mainly just the aesthetics to worry about.
      Obviously hydroelectric schemes would be the most efficient and long term cost effective but imagine all the fuss every time a barrier or dam was suggested! Shells last Arctic drilling exploration couldn’t find any cost effective wells, several north sea rigs are due for decommissioning,The north sea oil is drying up and fracking causes more public outcry! The oil market is being flooded no doubt to apply sanctions to Russia over the Crimea, When that’s over there’s one of two things will happen; sacrifice some appearance for some sustainable generation or see stupendous rises in the cost of energy to cover increased cost of extraction and or worldwide conflicts to secure remaining supplies.Sooner or later its going to come to this anyway whether now or 50 years time.
      I’m all for land based generation, ok its visible but then so are the cities most people live in and the roads everyone travels on and pretty much every other aspect of modern life. Someone somewhere pays the price!Just to be clear ; there is a proposal of up to three for St.Marys, one smaller one on St.Agnes, St.Martins & Tresco , not exactly “serried ranks”.
      I don’t trust the council’s motives and I think their scheme will offer poor value for our EU money, with have outstanding issues that are more priority than this but definitely not against the principal.

      • Verity Opinionated June 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        No more obtrusive or out of keeping than a McDonalds in front of the Taj Mahal. Perhaps they could paint the Daymark day-glow green and put a turbine on that. Oh and do spare us the potted treatise on global politics.

    • Herman Wouk June 25, 2016 at 8:02 am

      I rather suspect that the only breeze this project will catch will be the winds of change.
      Perhaps it will focus the minds of the people playing with our future on the things that truly matter, modern and effective transport service to join us properly to a shrinking nation.

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins June 25, 2016 at 12:19 pm

        We can only hope so, but that will require a change in mindset which will only happen when its food source is shut off!

  2. Adam Morton, St.Martins June 20, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I think the worst thing about this is that the council has adopted a proposal by its CEO that wasn’t even on the agenda in the 2013 election, whilst claiming that such partnership projects was impossible when it came to transport which certainly was on the agenda! A transport solution would have required no more cooperation than this to bring about Just Council officers don’t care because they aren’t affected. I cannot believe that Councillors have put this project at the front at a time like this! What will this actually do? Perhaps £400 off a £1000 energy bill if it turns out the spin doctors haven’t been at it! That isn’t going to save us!Enabling self help is the only option.

  3. Old Local June 20, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Both the 2 Turbines at Mount Todden were experimental ones, The first one had a standard upright blade where as the second one had a rotary blade. From what I can remember both were damaged due to our excessive winds that we get over here. Having said that, they both spent a hell of a lot of time inactive due to either too much wind or not enough , consequently they became a bit of a joke.

    • Morris June 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Both turbines were vertical axis ( i.e. like a helicopter rotor), the first had adjustable arrowhead blades that became more acute as wind speed changed, the second had parallel fixed winglets. The first set wound out and the mechanism failed in strong wind, the second lost the winglets through metal fatigue.

  4. Honor Taylor June 20, 2016 at 8:05 am

    There used to be a turbine of sorts up at/near Telegraphy many moons ago. Wonder what happened to that and does anyone remember it?

  5. unhappy resident June 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    To Mahabat – there is never ever any smoke without fire .and why are the Japanese Company spending time here in the Council offices? I’m sure they are not on holiday.

  6. Powerade June 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    What we need on Scilly is 5 hectares of solar panels and 4 wind turbines it’s got to come at some point
    if we want clean power plenty of wave power out thare trouble is at times it’s probable to much
    Like everything else it’s got to come don’t think the undersea cable will last for ever

    • Had Matter June 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      No Powerade,
      What we need is a council that at least shows a semblance of knowing what the Hell it is doing. This council is haemoraging money left right and center its supposed leader is the quietest she has ever been, the fundamental infrastructure assets are being ignored to save costs whilst the truly awful innovation team keep trotting out unwanted and ludicrous schemes to keep the electorate away from the smell of impending financial implosion. Ask your local councillor what waste disposal has cost so far this year alone, either they won’t know or you will be truly amazed by the figure.

    • Ewart June 18, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Would it not be more efficient to have all your renewable energy sources in one place?
      I suggest you use Samson for that purpose,it is not inhabited no one to complain about noise etc. There would room for a small wind farm and ground based solar panels.
      That should keep the NIMBYS quite, Conservationists may not approve,but you can’t keep everyone happy.

  7. Another ex-visitor June 17, 2016 at 11:44 am

    It has often occurred to me – does the leadership of your wondrous council actually read the comments on this site? Or do they dismiss the posters as a bunch of whingers? As an ex-regular visitor, now banished due to the high cost of visiting, it saddens me to hear of the council’s antics – the islands are a tourist destination, not an industrial site ( empty business units, anyone? ) or an experimental area for Japanese multinationals!

    • Slim Whitman June 19, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      I hope she doesn’t read, and if she does…. dismisses them out of hand. No creedance should be given to these internet warriors. But if someone takes the time to approach councillors and officers directly they should be afforded every courtesy, views listened to and respected even if not agreed with. This is a comments forum, not a councillors surgery and expecting comments pro or anti council (or anything for that matter) to have an impact is completely misguided.

      It saddens me that you can no longer enjoy these lovely islands because of the costs involved, I just hope you have many happy memories of your time here. 🙂

      • Linguine June 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

        She’s a self publicised linguist so I hope to goodness she can still read even if modest mathematical tasks evidently pose a quandary. I appreciate the time and trouble taken by such an accomplished country singer to respond with comments from beyond the grave and for that reason would not dismiss them “out of hand” instead I ask that you cast your mind back to the time you were alive before 2013 when many of those in elected office found this comments forum to be an attractive and effective medium; what is sauce for the goose remains sauce for the gander.
        Whilst “I remember you” I suspect your “Indian love call” is wasted on your “Secret love”.

        • Remain or Stay June 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

          Once again people whinging about the council and staff. These positions are up for renewal so why don’t you put your name forward? Or are you a true Scillonian who whines about everything yet can be bothered to help or do it yourself?

          • Leave or cheers and gone June 20, 2016 at 4:47 pm

            Ah, Remain or Stay,
            You make several presumptions some of which could be very wide of the mark. Your anonymity some may choose to presume is an indication that you are a member or an employee, in which case like me you know just how poorly the authority is being run. Cut everything is the new mantra and you know it. Our chairman is the architect who designed the debacle that our council has become over the last couple of years.
            Think positive you might be one of the favoured few that’s left once the dust of yet another reorganisation has settled.

  8. Maharbat June 17, 2016 at 10:22 am

    What a lot of waffling NIMBYism there has been over what is only a report the ‘acceptance’ of which is not a commitment to do anything. Where is the evidence that birds are killed by wind turbines? Tidal power generation would be ideal but when and at what astronomical cost? The wind turbine installed some years back was an experimental design which did fail but it was only a trial after all.

    • Pete June 17, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Musharraf. Be careful, this could be the thin end of the wedge.

  9. Dougal Quixote June 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Did you really need to go to a Japanese company for consultation? Seems a bit silly to me!

  10. Rachel June 15, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, stop spoiling the islands.

    • Rachel June 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Please can the council leave their mainland mentalities on the mainland and leave Scilly to remain unique and an area of outstanding natural beauty. CEO & other officers please quit trying to make your CV’s look impressive!

      • Had Matter June 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

        The management ‘team’ which includes chair and vice misguidedly think that they are doing a great job, they think those commenting here are a vocal minority.
        The chairman is responsible for allowing all this nonsense to go on and her blinkered view is inexcusable.
        When oh when will the remainder of our councillors get a grip on things and oust her from the chair and set the council back on an even keel?
        Nobody you talk to is anything other than bemused at the antics of our council.
        Wind turbines on the scale of even modest mainland installations would destroy the visual appearance of the islands. These proposals are symptomatic of the careless and haphazard approach to the stewardship of the Islands that will be this chairman’s legacy. Our chairman is just plain not good enough and we are all paying for her inadequacy.

        • Hugh Towner June 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

          I completely agree, with your comment on stewardship.

  11. unhappy resident June 14, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Please Councillors do not let this happen, we are surrounded by water, please think carefully and consider using water power instead of wind power, the force of the wind here in Scilly can be far too strong for the turbines, which are of no use in high winds, some crash down, some catch fire and now it is mentioned by the media no longer the magical reason for generating power. IF YOU WISH TO GAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ELECTORATE NOW IS THE TIME.

  12. 'scilly visitor' June 13, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Actually people do visit the islands because the skyline is not spoilt by these horrible stuctures ! The mainland scenery and coast in many counties no longer have the beautiful vistas you still have on Scilly.Scilly is unique treasure it ! Would you really want them ? what next cover beautiful Bryher with solar panels ? I am yet to be convinced of there worth.

  13. Salop Dave June 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Now, how do we get rid of all these nuisance tourists moaning about traffic and environmental nonsense. Axing the chopper and hiking the fares to get here was a good start. Swamping the place with cruise shippers will be a big help. Building hundreds of new houses and sewage works for techi London ‘entrepreneurs’ to create suburbia, that’ll be a nice turn off. But wait a minute, spot on, industrial scenery. Build loadsa wind turbines and sub stations – that’ll definitely get shot of ’em.

  14. Jeff Eastick June 13, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I fail to see how Council can be expected to vote to accept a plan that would so drastically alter the natural beauty of the Islands without a more detailed examination of the ramifications of such a move , and certainly not before a consultation with the people they are there to represent. This cannot be allowed to be passed on a simple show of hands. When you are trying to increase the visitor numbers , this would hardly seem to be a step in the right direction. People come to see the Islands as they offer a sanctuary from Mainland living and this plan could have a significant adverse effect on the total numbers. Has any thought been given to the effect on wildlife ?

  15. Adam Morton, St.Martins June 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Tourists aren’t coming to see the LACK of turbines! There’s 90.000 passengers through the airport instead of the 130-150000? at the turn of the century.Even those that do come have ever decreasing budgets (thanks to the cost of travel) so the number of industries supported by it is less each year. If the numbers do increase then the SSco put up the fares irrespective of whether they needed to as we have just seen this year!
    IF it were a community investment scheme where we could all have the opportunity to benefit directly from installations on OUR landscape then fine, but I see no mention of WHO is supposedly funding or if it’s open to islanders on the off chance they can find any worthwhile amounts to invest?
    As far as the council is concerned, it a piece of meaningless propaganda over which they have little control with the exception of the St.Mary’s sewerage discharge which we were told during the water meetings last year may cost anything up to £15m! Cue another chunk of funding spent exclusively on Hugh town and zero investment in transport or anything truly helpful to the working island’s inhabitants!
    The NIMBYs are squawking about a couple of turbines of limited lifespan and no more impact than a TV mast! Very few if any , were out petitioning/ campaigning for the council to address the transport issues so only have themselves to blame if we fall on desperate measures! Working age people need SOMETHING to live on! We are denied houses we can own, the right to build any letting accommodation or in fact anything you can earn a living wage from !

    • Mrs. Merton, St.Martins June 16, 2016 at 8:19 am

      I could be wrong but I’m guessing that Tresco won’t be the recipient of a time share turbine all the time there is breath in councillor RDS’s body.

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins June 16, 2016 at 4:57 pm

        Dunno, He’s been chair of the committee responsible for this for the last year I believe!Would be surprising if he hadn’t had any input when ASH futures was doing their surveying work. If not, then one should really query the Council’s actions in not consulting.With various aspects of farms, shoots & slipways rumoured to be soon discontinued or abandoned , one can only wonder if he knows something we don’t! I wouldn’t underestimate the visiting public, many are quite amenable to the ideas of sustainability & recycling, only in Scilly is it prefered to be sat on top of our heap of rotting waste, surrounded in a tide of human effluent, drinking water extracted from beside our septic tanks!

  16. Tom Matthews June 13, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Insulating the housing stock has got to be the starting point. What’s the point in simply finding better, more environmentally-friendly ways to heat the atmosphere?

    We have an old property which has little-to-no insulation and thus is extremely cold in the winter. Our energy bills are nearly £200 a month, and I’m sure our bills are by no means exceptional for the islands.

    I therefore started researching grants which may be available to help, and in particular the Energy Companies Obligation Scheme (notably the British Gas free insulation offer). I was extremely disappointed to find that these sort of schemes seem to finish at Land’s End and that no energy company will provide free insulation for us on the islands. I understand, of course, that here would be increased costs involved for the energy companies to offer insulation on the islands, but frankly a government-backed scheme should benefit ALL people in the country, irrespective of geographical location.

    On Scilly it seems we are hit by a perfect storm when it comes to energy bills. Much of the housing stock on the islands is very old and of traditional construction, so uninsulated. Incomes here are among the lowest in the country so funding insulation ourselves is not easy – and nor is continuing to pay sky high energy bills. Combine this with the fact we have no mains gas so have no practical alternative to inefficient and costly electricity to heat our homes, and the fact energy companies will not offer free or subsidised insulation to households on the islands, and it’s clear that we have a big issue.

    What is needed is an holistic approach to reducing energy usage AND sourcing sensible alternative generation methods on the islands, not simply covering the landscape in wind turbines and ticking the box that says we’re now “green” whilst still pouring heat out through the walls of our homes.

    I have contacted our MP, Derek Thomas, about this several months back, and he read out my letter in a Parliamentary debate on the matter. Unfortunately I never received an update from him on when/if anything will be done to assist the islands…

  17. Peter June 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I cannot believe anyone would think it a good idea to build something that would harm the main attraction of the Scillies: the largely unspoilt scenery and the sense of being ‘away from it all’! Tourists do not come to look at wind turbines or fields full of solar panels..
    The islands’ electricity has for many years come from the mainland, and the argument that the cable is getting old is ridiculous. It will have to be renewed eventually, with or without wind farms, if you want the lights to remain on.
    It is sensible to install lots of out-of-sight insulation where appropriate (Hitachi could probably arrange to supply that too – and highly efficient freezers etc).

    Please don’t do it!!!

  18. PETERBJENKINS June 12, 2016 at 7:53 am

    The aforementioned erections are all talk. no wonder hitachi are plugging them. minced puffins anyone? thudding and droning ? breakdowns, maintenance issues? who pays? not the mighty hitachi

  19. Ewart June 11, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Who is going to provide the 8m pounds for this project?? Not the UK Government, if on the 23rd of this month we leave the EU there won’t be any funding from that source either.
    Is this just another project to enable the Town Hall to increase the staff by another few dozen,and higher salaries the Senior officials for thier extra responsibilites.

  20. Todd Stevens June 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Awful ugly great things sticking up all over the landscape. Hawabout a big fat -NO! We have some excellent situations for tidal generated power. Under water and out of sight.

  21. meldrew June 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Looks like we have got the greens on the issue.- whether or not I have got the facts wrong, I do not think the idea is for the islands, they are very beautiful (the islands) – wind turbines are not – turbines spoil views, the promenade at Skegness is a good example, very unsightly.

  22. Danny Williams June 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    This has got to be the Chef And his squaw in the Towh Hall, they cocked up the Airport, gave us the abortion on the industrial estate, thank god his position is reviewable, maybe the Council Members will come to their senses, and sack the pair of them

  23. Hugh Towner June 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Let’s hope the promised benefit of saving 40% on electricity in 10 years will come with a guarantee that Council tax will not rise sooner, and by more in order to pay for the new contracts with Hitachi.

    Please Councillors do not sign up to these long term commitments until there is a plan that will bring the finances of the Council back under control and retain core services over the same period.

  24. Mark Prebble June 10, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Please Meldrew or whoever you are, just to start correcting your inaccuracies.

    The ISREC report mentioned in this article was commissioned with government support, completed in 2012 and made public then. The link above to an earlier news piece contains figures relevant to 2012 which have changed due to changes in the market and withdrawal of government incentives.

    The study found that the potential for generating electricity through a range of small, well sited turbines was cost effective as well as bringing social benefits to the wider community. Alongside the generation potential it also paid careful consideration to the statutory requirements and restrictions that apply to any development. These criteria are wide ranging and applied across the full range of stakeholders from international organisations to local community bodies. The report concluded with a range of recommendations focussed on progressing with a trial turbine project whilst acknowledging the distance still to travel in securing a community owned energy scheme.

    In addition, this report compiled all the known evidence about the test scheme set up Sir Robert McAlpine’s company, Renewable Energy Systems, in the 1980’s. This early venture into investigating the potential for renewable energy was conducted before the advent of an undersea cable, when Scilly relied on household diesel generators, and was concluded after the prototype suffered damage rendering it unsafe.

    ISREC is a community owned company committed to supporting the development of renewable energy sources in Scilly through information, education and community empowerment. Anyone interested in finding out more about our aims and current projects or joining ISREC is invited to contact The Secretary c/o Blackbird’s Perch, St Martin’s TR25 0QN or by leaving a message on 423875.

  25. Adam Morton, St.Martins June 10, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    More turbines the better imo, stop the place becoming solely a retirement home and any activity stifled by the non working ,non local population. Local schemes would be brilliant but I have a nasty suspicion that this Council will invite some multinational company in and we won’t get any benefit from it. Insulating your home and using energy saving appliances is hardly a new story and certainly not the big deal the Council is trying to pass it off as.

  26. Barbara Simpson June 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I can’t believe that wind turbines 148 feet high would be any more acceptable than one at 328 feet. And didn’t the much shorter trial one in the 80s blow over?

  27. meldrew June 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I don’t believe it – recently it has been reported by the media that wind turbines are not what they were expected to be , should the installation of wind turbines materialise the sights will be horendous and will completely spoil the image of the islands, what on earth is happening within the four walls of the Town Hall, Totally uncescessary for such an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – should the recoommendations come to fruition Outstanding Natural Beauty will certainly be a trade description probem. Why on earth are we being lead by the Hitachi Company and as for “wide spread support amongst the residents for the use of wind power”, first time I have heard of it, can we hope, as the Chief Executive quite often quotes in public meetings “……….it’s a MYTH., one would sincerely hope so. The renewable energy report was in 1992 – this is 2016 and I think local support might have changed its mind by now and, could it be the Support of the Management Team of the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Please Councillors do not let this happen, all I can think of is that someone somewhere if promising mega bucks. What about the wind turbine that was installed at Mount Todden,it had a very short life.