Powering on to brighter future in Uist as project’s second wind turbine goes up

Both UistWind turbines now fully constructed at Criongrabhal.
Both UistWind turbines now fully constructed at Criongrabhal.

The UistWind renewables project in the Outer Hebrides has passed two key milestones.

Its second turbine is now up after early problems with its concrete base meant the foundation had to be rebuilt.

Timelapse footage by UistFilm captured the moment the rotor and blades for this turbine were installed (on August 20th), amid great excitement after the previous difficulties.

The first turbine is now generating electricity and began exporting power to the Grid for the first time on August 2nd.

UistWind is a community project to erect two 900kW turbines in North Uist, at Criongrabhal near Clachan-na-Luib.

The wind farm is due to be operational by October this year.

A North Uist Development Company (Trading) project, the wind farm aims to generate more than £2 million over the project’s lifetime of 22 years – with the profits going straight back to the community via NUDC’s charitable activities.

Construction of the first turbine was completed in July and there were celebrations when its blades began to turn for the first time on July 31st.

One of the UistWind directors captured a video of this welcome sight and it was posted on social media, along with the explanation it would continue to appear to spin on and off while the commissioning process was taking place.

There was further joy when the construction of the second turbine was completed and this final stage was nicely documented with the timelapse video shot by Andy MacKinnon and arranged with the help of project managers Locogen.

UistWind are delighted to have finally reached the stage of seeing both turbines installed.

They also paid tribute to the personnel at the MoD and QinetiQ for working with them to facilitate the creation of the community-owned wind farm, overcoming challenges posed by its proximity to the Hebrides Range.

Dr Ameena Camps, Project Delivery Manager with North Uist Development Company, said: “I cannot begin to explain how thrilled we are to see both turbines in place, and both will soon be generating electricity for the benefit of the community in the longer term.

“The operation of UistWind would not have been possible were it not for the willingness of the MoD and QinetiQ’s personnel to work with the community to identify and implement solutions that allow the wind farm to co-exist with their radar technology.”

Mustapha Hocine, Chair of North Uist Development Company (Trading) Limited, said: “We are very grateful for the strong working relationship that has been developed and look forward to working with the MoD and QinetiQ during the lifetime of UistWind.”