Monday, 13 February 2012

Salmond vs Trump

Last week's post on the latest Trump outburst resulted in some strong views from commenters, so I decided to investigate the proposed Aberdeen Bay offshore windfarm to see if Donald Trump's actions would have any impact upon Marine Scotland's decision.

Talks took place last week between Trump and the developers with the result being the video upload to Youtube some hours later and scathing attacks on the First Minister in the MSM.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, which is managing the Aberdeen project, started life in 2004/5 when a joint venture between AREG (Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group) and AMEC (now the Swedish utility company Vattenfall) began developing plans to build and operate an offshore wind farm. Over time the project's scope developed to combine a commercial wind farm with a deployment centre and technology enabler.

The Aberdeen windfarm proposal was boosted, in 2009, with the news that the European Commission was considering investing €40m in the project and the venture partners believe it it was the potential to become a European test centre and a UK renewable energy hub.

The current partners of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (AOWFL) comprise of Vattenfall Wind Power UK, Technip and AREG and in August 2010 AOWEL was awarded exclusive rights, by the Crown Estate, to develop the project in a zone off the City of Aberdeen.

The project consists of up to 11 wind turbines with a maximum power generation of up to 100 mega watts. The wind turbines would export the electricity onshore to a new substation and then to the National Grid. The windfarm would be 2 kilometers offshore and with a maximum height of 195 metres and a maximum rotor diameter of 150 metres. These are massive turbines and will very possibly be seen from space. They will not be 'permanent' fixtures as they will be dismantled and removed when the proposed EOWDC is decommissioned at the end of the 22 year Crown Estate Lease period (environmental statement 8).

It's difficult to find any financial breakdown of this project's costs but certainly Mr Trump's tactics leave much to be desired by some.  Will his behaviour have any effect on Marine Scotland and Scottish Ministers' decision?  I doubt it. The Scottish government has invested too much in this and other projects to be influenced by Donald Trump.

I'll allow him the last word - an excerpt from a letter to Alex Salmond:

"As a matter of fact, I have just authorised my staff to allocate a substantial amount of money to launch an international campaign to fight your plan to surround Scotland's coast with many thousands of wind turbines."
He wrote: "Please understand that I am doing this to save Scotland."


hector said...

if the offshore windfarm was mr trumps project would he be so concerned about the view?

Joe Public said...

Maybe this is what Donald is concerned about:-

If the prevailing winds are from the North East, then guess where the fog blows?

JRB said...

Two wrongs never make a right.

The off-shore windfarm is wrong.
It will be an overly expensive technical white elephant that will produce no more than a microscopic fraction of the countries energy needs.
The carbon footprint and energy expenditure in manufacturing the turbines, erecting them at sea and their on-going maintenance throughout their lifespan will never be recouped.

Mr D Trump is wrong.
He has no interest whatsoever in what goes on around the Scottish coast, or how energy is produced in Scotland.
His interest is purely in the self serving aesthetics of what the view will be from his select jet-set Trump International Golf Links, and how anything that interferes with that view might impinge on his £200 green-fees.
His comments have been pure hypocrisy, driven purely by the financial interests of Trump Golf.

subrosa said...

Now there's a good point Hector.

subrosa said...

I have Joe and I was right for once.

subrosa said...

I'd agree JRB.I started the post in the hope I could shine some financial light on the project, but after some hours of googling I realised the funding was so carefully camouflaged within 'renewables' I'd never find specific sums unless I took a course in forensic accountancy.

RMcGeddon said...

Yes it's very difficult to tie down where the money comes from SR. 'Investment' usually means a lot of taxpayers money.

When you say "with a maximum power generation of up to 100 mega watts." don't forget the importance of 'power factor'. This is the maximum capacity divided by what is actually produced over a year. For wind the maximum is about 25% so the output would be 25MW. Coal is about 80%.
That's a big claim though as the usual output from a windmill is 2MW. They must be massive windmills.
Aberdeen will be the white elephant capital of the north. Better than being called sheep ......... I suppose.

Brian said...


This downloadable report published September 2010 by UKERC gives costs of offshore wind-turbines:

Demetrius said...

"Homecoming" is all very well but what you can get is Donald Trump.

pa_broon74 said...

No idea about wind farms, although from an aesthetic point of view I quite like them. I haven't looked deep enough into the financing of them to form an opinion except to say I do know the Fossil Fuel Levy was a precursor to the premium people allegedly pay on their power bills to pay for renewables.

At the end of the day it seems to me it doesn't matter what power generation system you favour, its going to cost money in the first instance, I'd rather see a wind farm than a dirty smelly coal fired power station, having lived next door to Cockenzie, I have some experience.

To be honest though, the most offensive thing mention in the article above to my mind is the rewards and benefits reaped by the Crown Estates Commission.

That really does makes me want to puke.

subrosa said...

RM, I was quoting there from a very long spec about the Aberdeen Bay project.

If you'd like a copy I'm sure I could find it -eventually.

subrosa said...

Indeed Demetrius. Indeed.

subrosa said...

Pa-broon, I certainly wouldn't like them within 5 miles of me. A village about that distance here decided to install them because they were told they would produce their own electricity and also provide them with funds to do with what they will. (subsidies).

Four years on many are regretting it because for those nearest the turbines are experiencing problems they never thought possible.

Of course government - crown estate included - will be the main
beneficiaries. Surely you didn't think the people were?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

What JRB said.

All of it.

subrosa said...

You could well be in a majority WY.

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