Prestigious renewables award for Lewis community windfarm

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Point and Sandwick Trust’s Beinn Ghrideag Community Windfarm on the outskirts of Stornoway has won the Best Community Project award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards.

The prestigious award was handed over to Angus McCormack, Chair of Point and Sandwick Trust, and Calum Macdonald, Project Director, at the annual awards ceremony in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on December 3rd in front of more than 1000 guests from the world of renewables.

The award is in recognition of outstanding performance in the Scottish renewable energy industry.

Angus McCormack, Chair of Point and Sandwick Trust, paid tribute to the work undertaken by Calum Macdonald, the directors and staff of PST to bring the project to fruition, often in the face of considerable problems.

Mr McCormack said: “Despite all the problems we had to solve, we have succeeded in building the largest community-owned windfarm in the UK. All the profits will be ploughed back into community projects and we look forward to having a significant impact in improving the local economy and the quality of life in our area.

“We have enjoyed wholehearted community support in the long lead-up to delivering this ambitious project and our ambition does not end there. We look forward to more community-owned developments in the future.”

Project Director Calum Macdonald, a former Western Isles Labour MP, said: “It’s recognition for a huge amount of work since we started in 2005 and also for the fact that we have broken the mould in what community groups can achieve by building by far the biggest scheme in the UK.

“There’s been a lot of buzz about the project for the last few years. It’s well known in the industry because of the sheer size and ambition of the community in taking on something so big, so everybody in the room already knew about us and had been watching our progress with a great deal of interest over the past three or four years, if not longer in some cases.

“Many of them also recognised the huge obstacles we had to overcome that were specific to this project.”

Calum added: “Everybody I talked to - who has been involved in this project and normally works on big corporate developments - is actually thrilled to bits that we’ve achieved and say it’s the best project they have worked on because they know that all the benefit is going back to the community.”

Pictured is former Labour MP Calum Macdonald accepts the award on behalf of Point and Sandwick Power