Councillor blasts Comhairle over community renewables

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Point and Sandwick Trust chairman Angus McCormack has urged his councillor colleagues at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to ‘start backing the community energy movement’ following the UK government’s failure to include island projects in the next round of the Contract for Difference auction.

Cllr McCormack, who represents Steornabhagh a Deas, said: “The announcement by the UK government that Remote Island Wind will not be considered in the CfD auction is a wake-up call for island renewables.

“There is now to be ‘a consultation on the treatment of non-mainland GB onshore wind projects.’

“I have been arguing for years that the Comhairle ought to have an alternative plan should the planned interconnector fail to materialise. My pleas keep falling on deaf ears.

“This announcement confirms my fears but it is an opportunity to look again at the case the Comhairle are making, and to put the community energy projects at the heart of our aspirations instead of relying on multi-nationals.

“Neither LWP nor The Stornoway Trust has built a single turbine in 13 years of trying. Meanwhile the communities have invested nearly £30million, built 15 turbines and are distributing £2million per year in community benefit. By any measure, this is a real success story.

“The local initiatives are being consistently ignored by the Comhairle despite delivering real projects on the ground and they are already giving more to the local community than LWP ever promised.It is time the Comhairle, the Stornoway Trust and our MP stopped putting all their eggs in the multi-national basket which has delivered nothing so far, and start backing the community energy movement.”