July 12, 2004

The wind on Lewis

[To the Editor, New York Times Travel -- published July 25]

Susan Allen Toth describes both the relentless wind and the consuming silence on the Hebrides island of Lewis ("A Remote, Ancient Isle," July 11). Renewable energy developers also have noted the wind and are threatening the island's serenity with a proposed 45-square-mile wind "farm" using the largest turbines and towers currently available.

The British and Scottish governments fully support the project, which will be the biggest in the world and will provide at most only 0.5% of the U.K.'s electricity. A 400-mile undersea power cable is being planned to connect the Hebrides to the north coast of Wales, so this is likely but the first in a long series of such projects for the western isles.

Lewis as described by Toth may not be around much longer.