Author Topic: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton  (Read 17739 times)

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Offline Outoftowner

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SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« on: January 15, 2013, 10:30:42 PM »
And now the big one folks. Everything up until now must have been a practice.
Never mind a "Pop Up School" there is now a plan for a "Pop Up Power Station".
I can't copy the link on my phone but the BBC are carrying a story about SCS, £50M and solar panels on Wroughton airfield.

Go for broke Rodders!


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Offline Alligator

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 10:21:41 AM »
And now the big one folks. Everything up until now must have been a practice.
Never mind a "Pop Up School" there is now a plan for a "Pop Up Power Station".
I can't copy the link on my phone but the BBC are carrying a story about SCS, £50M and solar panels on Wroughton airfield.

Go for broke Rodders!


I've added the link here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-21030534

Looks like an interesting project......I wonder if there will be any opportunity for local investment along the lines of the Westmill co-op.

I've also split this out from the original thread.


Offline Mr Bojangles

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 11:50:49 AM »
Can't see Rodders being up for the community ownership model that Westmill uses - smacks to much of 'power for the people'

This is a huge project, all SCS have done so far is put solar panels on schools - do they really have the expertise for this?

I see another  wi fi on a £50m scale - how many reindeers is that?

See more on this, including cost estimates, at http://www.eaem.co.uk/news/science-museum-and-council-propose-uks-largest-solar-farm

Offline Alligator

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 12:20:53 PM »
Sadly I think you're right on the co-op option Mr Bojangles.  I doubt it will be considered. 

My question was more of a rhetorical one really as I would prefer to start from the point, or assumption, that all options for this will be considered and that we don't encounter another WIFI type deal that is signed on the basis of back room chats or a meeting 'on the golf course' and then delivers nothing.

As members of the public we should all start to ask a number of questions about this.  In addition to the one you raise about SCS capabilities, all costs should be scrutinised, as shoculd the procurement process, the source of the funding and the appointment of any decision makers. 

With a bit of effort, we can collectively ensure that this stays in the public domain.  Arms length of not, SCS is borne out of public funds so the benefit of this needs to be clearly identifiable to the public.

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 12:55:00 PM »
Windfarms ..... Good

Solar Farms...... Good

Solar Farm set up by Rodders Club and maintained by SCS .... Yikes!
Proud to be gone

Offline jennyb

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 01:17:07 PM »
As I understand it SCS have no borrowing power ( excuse the pun) and in that respect are little different to Digital City.

As such an endeavour of this size would have to be underwritten by SBC in order that SCS could proceed. Where was this proposal presented and approved?

What evidence is there that SCS can cost, build and deliver any projects in a competitive tender process?

Look at the mess that has been made of the Croft as an example...  on 16th January 2013 work is still going on for a school which opened in Sept 2012.

Hell.. SCS can't manage to get green waste collection sorted out!

Not good... not good at all...

It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 02:15:36 PM »
Before we get stuck in to this latest pRodject I have been gathering my thoughts about this amazing news but first, are we all sure that Ardman Animations aren't running SBC.

All of their pRodjects would be enjoyable, acted out by those fine thespians, "Wallace & Gromit". Indeed, Wallace Bluh and Gromit Perkins seem good stage-names. ( Perhaps Da Mellon and Vile Productions could take look at this. There may be an Oscar in it.)

OK, straight face now;

1. SCS /SBC have no experience either with this size of project or with this size of Power Generation installation.
2. The record of SBCs excursions into the commercial world have not gone well.
3. SCS have stated that they would like to have Cotswold Sheep grazing amongst the solar panels. I find it amazing that they know exactly what breed of sheep that they want, even before they have worked out how to carry the power generated away from the site to the National Grid. We must remember, as must they, that this will not be at 230 Volts ac. It will be at either 11kV (11,000Volts) or 33kV and will involve pylons. Lots of pylons.

On the up side, most airfields in the UK have at least one east to west runway, meaning that a "Cosmic Neomancer" (see Croft School) should not be needed to work out where to point the solar panels.

Oh, I just know that this pRodject could be fantastic, it could be.......... but I can't help feeling that those running it are so incompetent that it will be an expensive failure, unless they cease their involvement and get the professionals in right now.

There are some nice Solar Farms working in Andalusia. One telephone call that's all it needs.
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Offline Alligator

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 03:16:29 PM »
According to the BBC news article, these proposals will be presented at Ellendune Community Centre in Wroughton on the 26th January. 

Given that this is a decision that will affect all tax payers in Swindon I would expect this is the first of many presentations, with others taking place within easier reach of the people living elsewhere in the Borough.


Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 04:31:49 PM »
According to the BBC news article, these proposals will be presented at Ellendune Community Centre in Wroughton on the 26th January. 

Given that this is a decision that will affect all tax payers in Swindon I would expect this is the first of many presentations, with others taking place within easier reach of the people living elsewhere in the Borough.


Ah, I'm not so sure about that. If 'they' decide that it's a 'single-ward' issue any 'consultation', (and I use the term advisedly), might be restricted to the ward for which the pRodject is destined.  A good example of the above in action was the pillaging, (Cllr Peter Stoddards words, not mine), of North Swindon section 106 money to pay for the Muga pitches at Croft which, as we all know, lies within the Old Town and Wossname ward in South Swindon.

IIRC The North Swindon councillors representing wards which had 106 monies stealthily removed from them were unaware the money had been taken from their wards, (without consultation), and Stephen Taylor had to re-educate them about the re-interpreted and re-negotiated use of 106 money.  Cllrs Stoddart, et al, were outraged to learn that on Cllr's representing wards in which the money would be spent in would be consulted but those representing wards from which the money was being taken would not be

Cllr Tomlinson (V) was rumoured to have kicked up quite a stink and it is certainly true that, shortly after kicking up the alleged stick, she apparently 'Won' £700,000 of it back to fritter away in the ward.

I've always been in favour of a windmill/solar farm at Wroughton, and so I support the proposal, but I am having considerable difficulty working up any confidence that Swindon Commercial Services will be able to deliver a fully functioning solar farm on time and on budget whilst anyone from Bluhs administration is able to have any input into the project management and engineering.  I'm not surprised that the breed of sheep has already been decided before planning has been approved or a panel positioned, it is symptomatic of this shower that the wallpaper has been picked before a brick is laid.

I actually do have some faith that SCS could deliver this, but only if the politicians keep their noses out of the engineering and construction. Cllrs Bluh, et al, might see this as another opportunity to dip their fingers into the public purse, add a few more million to Rod's Debt Mountain and come over all visionary and vibrant, but I think the only way they'll bee seen as either visionary or vibrant is if they place their Gucci's onto an exposed cable when the sun is shining....     

Offline Outoftowner

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 04:36:58 PM »
Alligator said:
Quote
I would expect this is the first of many presentations, with others taking place within easier reach of the people living elsewhere in the Borough.

On past performance Alligator (i.e. Wi-Fi) I don't think that SBC went around the borough explaining what they were doing with taxpayer's money. Quite the opposite. In fact the M.O. was similar to now. Announcements in the national and trade press but saying nothing to the taxpayers.

Also I liked this bit from the article on the "Energy & Environmental" web site.

Quote
The project will cost around £50m. The funder has not yet been chosen.

CHOSEN! It's like being chosen to have your pockets picked!
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Offline Alligator

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 04:42:52 PM »
According to the BBC news article, these proposals will be presented at Ellendune Community Centre in Wroughton on the 26th January. 

Given that this is a decision that will affect all tax payers in Swindon I would expect this is the first of many presentations, with others taking place within easier reach of the people living elsewhere in the Borough.

Ah, I'm not so sure about that........

Me neither, when i say I expect it to happen, that doesn't mean I think it will, just that I think it should , or if we lived in a Borough where true democratic processes are adhered to and respected, it would happen, without question.   :santa_sad:

That said, if enough people ask a lot of questions, may be we can force them to carry out a wider consultation?

I've always been in favour of a windmill/solar farm at Wroughton, and so I support the proposal, but I am having considerable difficulty working up any confidence that Swindon Commercial Services will be able to deliver a fully functioning solar farm on time and on budget whilst anyone from Bluhs administration is able to have any input into the project management and engineering.  I'm not surprised that the breed of sheep has already been decided before planning has been approved or a panel positioned, it is symptomatic of this shower that the wallpaper has been picked before a brick is laid.

Me too Geoff, and this is why my immediate question was about whether this will be a community co-op type plan.  I'm a shareholder in the Westmill farm and would be interested to be involved in others.  I think the location may work well for this, it's just, as you say, whether anyone who ventures into this can be allowed to get on with it without political interference.

Offline Mart

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 08:30:39 PM »
I'm only moderately less alarmed than I would be to learn that they'd decided to have a stab at fracking.

What I am reasonably confident of is that if it does go ahead, and thinking about the principal players, the 50m, (or a Whichelstowe if you prefer), budget will be found to be inadequate. Less likely, but possible, is that the soddin sun will have gone out by the time the scrotes have nailed it together.


but I think the only way they'll bee seen as either visionary or vibrant is if they place their Gucci's onto an exposed cable when the sun is shining....     

Made oi larf, I had a Wile Coyote / Roadrunner vision.

Yes, my green waste is still lolling about hoping that some knob will eventually have a vision whereby it gets feckin collected.

Beginning to wonder if they've forgotten they are actually supposed to empty the feckin bins.
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Offline the gorgon

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 08:37:03 PM »
Why haven't they involved people who have successfully set-up a solar farm, like these guys?

http://www.westmillsolar.coop/projects.asp

Offline Mart

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 09:13:08 PM »
Because it would detract from the visionary aspect of the scheme.

Humdrum normality like service provision is not for this mob, far too mundane.

That's why they are whittering on about harvesting the energy of a star when they have yet to prove they are capable of consistently emptying a feckin waste receptacle on a regular basis.

Standby for the space programme whereby they launch manned missions to the sun to collect sunshine directly thus guaranteeing a continued supply for their farm.

Can't wait to see how they go about the harvest.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 11:21:31 PM »

Humdrum normality like service provision is not for this mob, far too mundane.

That's why they are whittering on about harvesting the energy of a star when they have yet to prove they are capable of consistently emptying a feckin waste receptacle on a regular basis.


Perfectly put.


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Offline Simon

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 11:50:41 PM »
My landfill bin would have been emptied yesterday as normal, had I actually put anything into it. My recyclables were collected this morning, only one day late (although I had to hunt for my orange box afterwards - that hasn't happened for a while, do we have new marmosets who are still in training?)

Anyway, solar farms... Do I want more of them? Yes, if they're in a place which gets enough light to make them useful. Do I want one in the old RAF airfield in Wroughton? Yes, sounds as good a place as any for them, certainly better than Shaw Forest. Do I care whether they're visible when I look at the countryside? Yes, I like to see wind and solar farms when I travel around, it makes me feel like I'm part of a species which isn't entirely commited to the destruction of our planet as a habitable space vehicle.  :santa_smiley:

Do I want SBC to deliver this? I would like someone to deliver this, but I have my doubts about SBC's ability to deliver. SBC people, if you're reading, please get someone from Westmill on board sooner rather than later - they've recently done something similar (very successfully) and would be very well placed to advise you on how to go about it.
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Offline Tea Boy

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 12:40:17 AM »
I'm only moderately less alarmed than I would be to learn that they'd decided to have a stab at fracking.

Language Timothy!!!

Plenty of Frackers at SCS, might have the entire fracking fraction of frackers for the whole council in fact.

There was a time when you came into work for a part of the council that picked up the litter, trimmed the bushes and cut the grass. Now were into any crazy half baked idea that might just make a few pence if were lucky, except anyone who works or has worked for SCS will tell you its doomed to cock up and failure. If you can't perfom your core business then what hope have you got. Perhaps just before they realise its doomed some fracker will spunk up a couple of hundred thousand for residents from surrounding towns to tell them it was a crap idea too.

Just shows how desperate Rod and his troupe have got, tryin to service that fracking great interest swelling debt they ran up playing at land speculators.

Its just another long shot bet along with wifi, waste incineration,radio 1 big weekspend etc.
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Offline Alligator

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 08:39:53 AM »
The Adver has now picked up the story and has provided a little bit more detail:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10166222.Solar_farm_to_be_biggest_yet/

Quote from: Swindon Advertiser
PLANS to build the largest solar farm in the country have been announced for Wroughton.

Swindon Commercial Services Ltd, owned by Swindon Council, has partnered up with the Science Museum, which owns a former airfield just outside of Wroughton, to create a 40MW solar farm.

The proposed farm will comprise 160,000 solar panels and cover 200 acres of a former RAF site, now owned by The Science Museum at Wroughton.

Developers, SCS, said it could create enough energy to power about 12,000 homes and plans will go on show at Ellendune Community Centre from Saturday, January 26.


The project will cost around £50m, but the backer has not yet been chosen.

James Owen, the project's manager, said that the project is in pre-planning stage and undergoing its first consultation with the public.

If successful, it will move to a planning application in April, work would start in September, and the park would be completed by Christmas.

The Science Museum took over the airfield in the 1970s and uses it to store exhibits that are not currently on display.

The flat land is classed as light industrial and covered in concrete and grass making it easy to install.

Matt Moore, a spokesperson for the Science Museum, said: “As most people in Swindon know we have a large RAF airfield, which we use the main buildings of, the rest is flat land which is unused.

“We are looking at ways we can maximise the use of the site.

“This idea will have a positive impact on the community and that is the point of the consultation to get other peoples views on it.

“The plans we have had previously are based around large public access, or using public funding to carry them out where as this has no adverse impact and will be no expense to the museum.

“This is a robust business plan and we are looking forward to working with SCS.”

SCS has so far only installed much smaller solar ventures on behalf of the council for example on the rooftops of colleges, leisure centres and accommodation.

In such cases, the properties, being owned by the council, the council receives the income from the panels' operation.

This is not only a much bigger project but a different business model.

The company is acting as a developer, and will also pitch to be a subcontractor and provide maintenance services to the Science Museum's project.

James Owen, of SCS, said: “We are right at the early stages of the project and will be holding the public consultation.

“We reckon that will take four to six weeks. It is unlikely we will submit plans before April.

“The more people that can come along to the consultation and give us their views the better for us. We hope to get a good turn-out.

“I hope people do embrace the fact that we're trying to generate a significant amount of renewable energy on land that is pretty unproductive.”

Offline Muggins

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 08:54:53 AM »
Ah ah, the important and not to be forgotten bit of that news

"Partnerships with the Science Museum" let's hope it's a full and happy one, with the right people from the right places doing their part of the work.

Good luck to it, the last time I was driven around it it was all tarmac and *green desert, its a jolly goos use for it.

* closely mown grass that is unsued - looks nice but not much use and costs to maintain.
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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: SCS proposal for a solar farm in Wroughton
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 09:22:59 AM »
Lets hope that The Science Museum are not walking into this with their eyes closed, which I suspect they are.

Lets look quickly at the Wi-Fi "partnership". There were three partners, SBC, Digital City and Aqovia. What did they bring to the party? SBC brought cash, saying, and maybe believing, that it was about one third of the total. Digital City and Aqovia, perhaps unknown to SBC, brought nothing but open hands.

Now the "Pop up Power Station". The Science Museum bring land, SCS bring knowledge of small "Low Voltage" Photo-Voltaic electrical generation installations, SBC bring nothing but open hands.

The Photo-Voltaic installation planned for Wroughton will either be "Medium" or "High Voltage" and it will be different and a much larger installation than SCS have seen before. So perhaps they could be sub-contractors but not the main design or installation contractor.

SBC are attempting to do exactly what Digital City and Aqovia did with Wi-Fi, make money but give no input. They have learned well from their mentor!

As it stands the project lacks a principle design company and financial backing. The Science Museum should look elsewhere for these two things.

Dread the thought that the income from selling Whichelstowe to, perhaps, Waitrose, goes to finance this scheme without a proper, competent management structure in place.
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