The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme, a Scottish Government Scheme delivered by Community Energy Scotland, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) have supported community renewable energy projects in the Western Isles with an overall project value of £30m in just over two years.
The projects are at varying stages of development, many of them installed but with some of the larger community energy companies hoping to finalise their projects by the start of 2013 at the latest.
Projects to install heat pumps, solar water heating, hydro, insulation and micro wind turbines in community halls and facilities are being developed throughout the Western Isles.
These will be reducing energy costs for the communities concerned and contributing to a resilient energy supply on the islands.
There are also eight larger community energy projects post planning and a number of other community projects at earlier pre planning stages.
Two of the community projects are over 5MWs (both at pre construction stages) and they make up two thirds of the total project value. Of the total grant funded elements,
Community Energy Scotland has distributed £2m of the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme and CnES have contributed just under £1m through the current capital programme.
This money has enabled communities to either fully complete their project or to get their project to a stage where they can attract other funders to invest in their schemes.
Community Energy Scotland has also worked hard to develop the projects with the groups involved and will continue to support them with the CARES loan fund.
For more information on this loan fund log on to: http://www.communityenergyscotland.org.uk/cares.asp