Saturday, 31 January 2015

Selling Scotland by the megawatt




I came upon this unusual obstruction while doing one of my 'fisul path inspections. It's our local contribution to the Beauly - Denny Interconnector.This is the upgraded transmission system designed to take the wind generated electricity from the Wild Land ( and some merely Slightly Annoyed Land) to where people use it, and ultimately onward to the barren wastes of Englandshire.




If you have travelled the A9 recently, you will have seen ample evidence of the relative size of the new pylons and the construction infrastructure.Locally, all strands of political opinion were united in requesting that the line be undergrounded ( a word, apparently) where it crosses the flat land of the carse, but apparently this would have been an unbearable burden on the dividends payable to the goatherds and flamenco dancers who own "Scottish" Power. To be fair, they did offer to paint the pylons in a more environmentally sensitive colour.



This used to be a pleasant, if boggy, little wood, with orchids and stuff. It will probably recover.
Now, I'm not against pylons per se ( little bit of French, there) . I would be lying if I said that a line of pylons looming out of the fog has never helped to correct a minor temporary locational anomaly, but this thing is just taking the piss.










 

10 comments:

  1. In the long-term, is the cost of burying power lines actually greater than regularly having to reinstate ones which have been brought down by bad weather?

    It's something I've often wondered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dunno. But obviously gas and telecom networks are sub-surface now.

      Delete
  2. It might make a mess of someone if they dug a line up by accident. The smell would linger for a while I would have thought.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting. It certainly is boggy there as they are either using bored piles to get down to something solid or grouting to stabilise the ground.

    The trouble with undergrounding such a major line is the width of trench required - you still need quite a bit of separation for the power lines and it can mean sodding great barren strips through woodland, that have to remain. However grass & heather can grow back so that it is just empty space rather than colossal towers strung across the landscape.

    And the usual response from power companies is that undergrounding "costs ten times as much as overhead lines - which is of course, complete horse-shit. These days the factor is nearer two to three times.

    In the overall scheme of costs of renewable energy, this of course is sod-all.

    ReplyDelete
  4. They are apparently planning to underground a 3-4 mile section further along for reasons that are described as "technical" .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aye, right! Energy at all costs, seems the motto. Gotta love ole Furry, rusty bedsprings at its best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Iain. Good to see you back.
      "Woman I hate - I see her every day. Woman i love - she so far away" Write a line like that, Ed Sheerin !

      Delete
  6. It’s all part of the creeping, piece by piece destruction of the environment. Like when they put a bypass around a town, and the industrial estates and shopping centres then flood out to fill the available space between the town and the bypass. The next stage is that they flood to the outer side of the bypass – as has happened in several places I could name.
    Anyway, OM. Thank you for introducing me to a new word and extending my vocabulary – “undergrounding”. It sounds much more important than “burying”.
    Cheers, Alen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleasure, Alen. You'll now be able to use it in context such as " I hear old Davy has passed away. The undergrounding is next Thursday "

      Delete