Hydro push to connect island communities

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The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust is making a new push to help community projects connect to the electricity network in the Western Isles.

The independent charitable trust was set up in 1998 by Scottish Hydro Electric plc (now SSE plc) to help customers and communities in the north of Scotland faced with high charges for a new electricity connection.

Ahead of the next round of applications which closes on Friday 20 May 2016, the Trust has announced that it is extending its support to fund up to 75% of the cost of connections for community projects.  It will also now fund up to 50% of this cost for individual customers who need support to meet the costs of a new domestic connection.

Ron Brown, Trust Chairman said: “The Trust was set up to recognise the particular challenges often associated with connecting to the electricity network in the north of Scotland, especially in rural and island communities.

“In recent years, our fund has helped communities to connect their own renewable power to the grid, as well as supporting the connection of important community housing projects from Harris to Helmsdale.  We are keen to receive applications from projects that can bring significant benefits to their communities and which require a new electricity connection.  Depending on the level of benefit to the community, we will be able to fund between 50% and 75% of the cost.”