Work began this week on the Point and Sandwick wind farm at Beinn Ghrideag on the A838 west of Stornoway.
Local firm, Islepower, have been awarded the contract for geo-technical works to prepare the location for three Enercon turbines which measure 125 metres high from base to blade tip.
The wind farm will be by far the largest community-owned wind farm in Britain when it is completed in December 2012. The 9MW wind farm will produce enough power for 6,000 homes and will earn £1 million per year in profit which will be reinvested in community projects across the Western Isles.
Development Director, Calum MacDonald said: “After five years of tireless effort by the community and overcoming many obstacles on the way, it is great to have men out on the site preparing the ground for the wind farm.
“We are especially delighted that a local firm has been able to compete and win this initial work and we hope that it is only the first of a long chain of benefit to local businesses.
“The Trust has made a firm commitment that the profit from this wind farm will be invested in the development of the whole of the Western Isles and not just in the communities of Point and Sandwick. It is our philosophy that our wind farm should benefit the whole islands community and when it is generating income we will welcome applications for support from communities and organisations from the Butt to Barra.”
Kathleen MacDonald from Community Energy Scotland added, “It is great to see the Beinn Ghrideag project reach the pre-construction stage. Other community projects also progressing geo-technical works at present include Horshader, Tolsta, Galson, Storas Uibhist and Barra. This is hopefully the start of further works on site in the next year or two and we are delighted to be working alongside all the community energy groups.”
Work starts on the Beinn Ghrideag wind farm.