Meeting notes: 7th June 2012, Kyle Rhea Liaison Group

Key topics from the meeting: Project progress, Public exhibition, Community benefit

Meeting held in HIE, Auchtertyre
Attendees:

  • Stuart MacPherson (SM), Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Ian Philp (IP), Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Emma Maclean (EM), Local Development Officer
  • Joseph Kidd (JK), Marine Current Turbines (MCT)
  • John Angus Maclean (JM), Glenelg & Arnisdale Community Council
  • Michael Francis (MF), Glenelg & Arnisdale Development Trust
  • Andy Law (AL), Kylerhea resident
  • Jim Coomber (JC), Isle of Skye Ferry (CIC)
  • David Langston (DL), Marine Current Turbines (MCT)

Apologies:

  • Bruce Taylor, Forestry Commission
  • John Bannister, Kylerhea resident

Purpose

The group’s aim is to:

Ensure that the local community is kept fully up to date with activities and progress related to the proposed tidal array project at Kyle Rhea and to provide a forum for the local community to provide feedback to the developer, and an opportunity to explore local benefits that come from the development of the project.

Summary notes of discussion:

  1. Summary from last meeting was reviewed.
  2. SM introduced DL as new MCT representative based in Inverness.

Project Progress (JK)

MCT ownership

Siemens now fully owns MCT and MCT is now part of the Solar & Hydro Division within the Energy Sector of Siemens. JK stressed that MCT will be the technology provider to the project but the actual project developer is yet to be finalised.

Project ownership

An investment process is underway and it is likely to be a partnership of private companies, probably utilities, and possibly some community
investment, that will take the project forward. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Bird and marine mammal surveys are ongoing. There is a meeting with Marine Scotland and Scottish National Heritage on 20th June to give update

Navigation

Meeting with Maritime Coastguard Agency was held in early April. Concerns have been raised about navigation issues. Scottish based consultants, “Anatec” have been contracted to carry out impact assessment and local consultation including a “Hazard Identification” workshop which is likely to be held in August, 2012.

A new Fisheries Liaison Officer, Tristan Southall, has been contracted for the project. Tristan will be contacting commercial fisheries using Kylerhea.

Onshore works

There was a meeting with the Forestry Commission (FC) at end of May to discuss Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) of export cable on the Skye side of the development. The situation of the substation was also discussed. A site visit is planned for 18th June with FC and drilling contractor to look at options.

EIA

It is anticipated that the EIA will be complete by October with the final submission to the Marine Scotland likely to happen in November.

HDVC

The new HVDC link to the Western Isles should free up around 25MW for Skye – the project is completely dependent on getting a connection.

SM asked about consenting requirements for public consultation, JK will check with Marine Scotland and Highland Council. The normal route for public consultation is through Marine Scotland once application has been submitted. It was suggested that it may be good to carry out formal opinion surveys in the Glenelg and Kylerhea areas.

AL asked about duration of construction, installation of array as well as Horizontal Directional Drilling and construction of substation. JK confirmed that this level of detail would be included in the EIA but he would try to get some information on these points available for the public exhibition.

SM asked about the projects potential to create jobs and the types of skills which may be required. JK confirmed that the EIA would include a socioeconomic section but that in the interim he would try to assemble some indicative numbers based on Strangford Lough (the existing MCT project) for the next Project Update. JK will also put supply chain report, commissioned by HIE, onto SeaGeneration Kyle Rhea website. “Supply Chain Report” considers all aspects of the project in terms of the systems of organisations, people, technology, activities, information and resources that might be necessary to run the operation. Further information is available from HIE or SeaGeneration Kyle Rhea website.

Public Exhibition

JK highlighted that another public exhibition was being organised for the 19th June to be held in the Glenelg village hall from 2-8pm. The focus of the exhibition will be on environmental impacts. Another public exhibition will be held in November that will be able to present the findings of the EIA.

AL suggested that the overall visual impact was a large concern for many people and suggested that it would be useful to have some photomontages or an impression of what the development might look like. JK acknowledged the benefit of such a display and confirmed that this was being done as part of the landscape assessment for the EIA but was unsure if it would be completed in time for the exhibition.

EM asked that a representative from MCT attend the GADT exhibition which was being planned to be held on the 20th June. It was considered by all to be sensible to combine the two events pending agreement from GADT directors. EM will look into moving the GADT exhibition to the 19th.

JK will look into possibility of paying for ferry for Kyle Rhea residents on day of exhibition.

Community investment / benefit

MF shared progress information with the group on the possibility of community investment in the Kyle Rhea project. Following a meeting with Alex Salmond, Community Energy Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise had been asked to work with GADT to oversee the appointment of an assessor who would carry out due diligence for the proposed project at Kyle Rhea.

The purpose of independently carrying out due diligence on the project is to evaluate the projects suitability for community investment. MF also highlighted that he had attended a conference held by the Highland Council on “Community Interest” and this has been a topic GADT have been contributing to for some time.

Dissemination of info

JK highlighted that the intention of the Liaison Group is for the local community to be kept informed of progress and have a forum to feed back concerns or opinions on the project. Based on feedback it appears that the dissemination of the summary notes and updates is not happening as anticipated originally.

EM highlighted that the Community Portal was due to be launched soon and acknowledged a delay in dissemination of meeting notes which were awaiting approval. EM will ensure hard-copies of notes are placed in Glenelg shop. AL will ensure that notes are distributed by email to Kylerhea residents.

Agreement was made that notes will be finalised and distributed within 2 weeks of Liaison Group meeting.

Next meeting

No date for the next meeting was set although it was agreed to meet sometime in August / September.

Kyle Rhea Tidal Development News

Review are closed.

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