The first community owned, revenue generating wind turbine in the Western Isles arrived in Stornoway on Saturday.
Installation of the 900 kilowatt turbine marks the final milestone in the pre-development stage of the project. Once installed, energy generated by the turbine will be sold into the national grid, raising vital funds for the local community.
Horshader Community Development is a charitable trust originally set up in May 2005 to plan, build and run a community wind project for the people of South Shawbost, Dalmore and Dalbeg on the west coast of the beautiful Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Throughout the development stages the group have been determined to see this project to fruition. Support and funding has been given to the project through Community Energy Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Big Lottery, the Scottish Government CARES fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Trust also succeeded in securing £1.8 million in financing from the Co-op bank.
Kathleen MacDonald, Community Energy Scotland’s officer based in Stornoway said:”The Horshader project has overcome many a hurdle to get to this stage and is something the group should be extremely proud of. CES have enjoyed working with the group throughout this time and look forward to continuing this support over the coming months.”
The project created its first job in January of this year, with the Horshader Community Trust appointing Angela Macleod as a development officer to ensure that the funds generated by the community turbine are distributed according to the outcomes identified by the local community. Ms Macleod said: “It is all systems go now. Foundations works are complete on site and we have the road access established. The site has one of the best possible wind resources in the UK and will help fund our community needs to improve life here for the next generation and hopefully reduce depopulation.”
David Wright, who has been a leading force in Horshader Community Development for nearly a decade added “This is a massive achievement for the trust, it has been a long hard road with many difficulties, we were the first community in the Western Isles to start work on a wind project and it is only fitting that we will now have the very first community owned revenue generating wind energy scheme.”
The Enercon turbine will be arriving in sections onto Stornoway’s No 3 pier at the ferry terminal on Saturday 28th of July and will be delivered to the site for installation the following week.