Scotland Against Pylons

Scotland is being exploited!

A blog by Joan Duncan
Images from SSEN

We must all work together to stop the annihilation of Scotland’s countryside, environment, wildlife, rural economy, tourism and health with all that means.

We will not be collateral damage for profit!

We do not need the amount of energy that SSEN and many of the other foreign companies intend to extract. There are no discernible benefits to Scotland as a country and we cannot sit on our hands watching whilst doing nothing but complain.

There are many Facebook groups across the country but it’s past time for us to come together and campaign professionally.

Communitiesb4Powercompanies have the necessary experience to focus a campaign, we need their experience now, there’s no time to delay!

The plan right now is to “upgrade” the current Pylons from

  • Spittal to Beauly
  • Spittal to Peterhead via undersea cable
  • Western Isles to Beauly undersea and overland
  • Beauly to Peterhead
  • Right down south through Aberdeenshire and Angus to Tealing.

The proposed new Super Pylons are about the size of the Scott Monument, almost twice the size people are used to seeing spanning Scotland’s landscape.

There was shock at a consultation meeting in Kilmorack Hall, as highlighted by the Inverness Courier recently.

We cannot stand by and simply watch as the Scotland as we know it is destroyed!

We also cannot discount the potential damage to health. We are told that living within 200 metres of current pylons may increase the incidence of leukaemia in children, though it is difficult to isolate powerline risks from other factors. One thing is certain: we don’t need extra risks where we can avoid them.

We don’t know the effects of living near superpylons. However we believe they may have a detrimental effect on house and land values.

To enable the energy to be converted from Direct Current to the Alternating Current which the energy companies require for consumer use in the U.K, sub stations are to be built all over Scotland. The sub stations are enormous – the size of 30 football pitches according to the Press & Journal – and will hum day and night.

We are told that living within 200 metres of our current pylons increases the incidence of leukaemia in children significantly

The Guardian

Fiddes, in the heart of the Howe of the Mearns made famous by Lewis Grassic Gibbon in his widely acclaimed trilogy, is one of the proposed sites. SSEN seem intent to ride roughshod through communities having no regards to Scotland’s Historical or Cultural heritage. It is an abhorration!

In addition to the Wind Farms, Super Pylons, and Substations we have BESS (Battery Energy Storage Systems) which enable power system operators and utilities to store energy for later use. The BESS system is an electrochemical device that charges from the grid, power plant or renewable sources to be discharged at a later date. Like the substations which they will be placed next to, these BESS sites will have a massive footprint.

The Seagreen Wind Farm off Angus has 114 Wind Turbines generating enough energy for 1.6 million homes which equates to energy supply for two thirds (66%) of Scotland’s homes. It went live in August 2023, and is due to get almost another 30% larger when the final phase is complete.

The Moray West Wind Farm has 60 wind turbines generating electricity for 640,000 homes or 25% of Scotlands household energy needs.

It will be fully operational in 2025.

Already, with just those two wind farms, we are over Scotland’s household needs by a quarter again.

On Wednesday of last week Highland North & South councillors voted 11 votes to 9 to object to SSEN’s application to install Pylons on Skye. Following the decision SSEN allegedly asserted that lights will go off in Skye if they don’t get their destructive way. The decision will now go to a Public Enquiry.

The Power watchdog OFGEM’s approval of SSEN’s electricity network upgrade for Argyll & Bute is a significant blow to No More Pylons (Dalmally) campaigners. The move by OFGEM is highly unusual as they do not usually invoke Final Needs Cases until the relevant consents are in place. It’s a worrying precedent that such a powerful global company and the U.K. regulator can jointly agree to spend our money on a scheme that has still to receive the full scrutiny of planning.

Recently Claire Countinho, U.K.s Energy minister signed an agreement with her German counterpart to supply renewable energy through a subsea neuconnector from Scotland to Germany.

Scots pay more than any other area of the U.K. to upload our energy onto the National Grid. Scottish consumers are charged more for the energy we use. Sounds a good system, unfortunately just not for us! Many Scots live in fuel poverty. The question is Why?

The renewable energy industry has the potential to be many, many times larger than the oil and gas industry providing cheap energy for generations to come.

This is the first in a series of blogs on this topic. Many people are working hard round the country to bring some common sense to our energy provision but what we need is for everyone to contact their Community Council, Councillor, MSP’s and MP to object to every application from SSEN and the Wind Farm operators.