Following the news of that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has appointed consultants MAR (Scotland) Ltd to provide business planning support for the establishment of an Outer Hebrides Energy Supply Company.
Councillor Gordon Murray welcomed the move, adding: “The main objective should be delivering cost price electricity from wind energy to eradicate fuel poverty, encourage families to settle here and help business development on the islands.
“The possibility of entering into a supply contract with the Comhairle in respect of the Authority’s total electricity consumption would enable ESCo to advance much more rapidly in the securing of funding for the provision of turbines.
“It would also make efficiency savings and allow monies to be diverted into frontline services instead of high energy costs.
“I would also call for a cost / reward analysis in relation to any tie up with a private supplier, with particular regard to the post short term arrangement, as this is essential to prevent local endeavours failing to fully capitalise on our energy resource.
“We want to avoid being tied into a long term contractual situation which is seriously prejudicial merely to secure a short term advantage.
“If a low cost energy environment could be created then economic advantages over the mainland will arise.”