Work has been progreesing well at the turbine site, with three Islay contractors and mainland firm RJ MacLeod all on site last week preparing the turbine foundation. The next step will be the concrete pour, scheduled for this Thursday.
Four years ago IET didn’t think they would be able to find a suitable site for a Community Wind Turbine, until Scottish Natural Heritage offered one near Glenegedale. As with previous possibilities, this too initially seemed doubtful, because Islay airport was only about four kilometres away, but this turned out not to be a major problem, and the only request from Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, the operators of the airport, has been to “Please put a red light on top of the turbine!”.
There have of course been numerous hurdles along the way, but that was the turning point which was ultimately to lead to the formation of Islay Energy Community Benefit Society, and the remarkable community response which saw £535,000 raised through the community share offer, 80% from local investors. Now we are beginning at last to see progress on the ground, with the initial civils work completed, and the site ready for Enercon to come and prepare the foundation for the turbine during August. A large area of hardstanding has been created, and a crane pad constructed to accommodate the heavy lifting gear which will raise the turbine components into place. The area for the substation foundation has been concreted and the road widened in places to accommodate the delivery vehicles. Despite some early delays due to legal technicalities, the project is still on schedule for installation during October, and commissioning in November.
Early and ongoing support from Community Energy Scotland, coupled with the technical expertise of Dr Colin Anderson who has acted as technical consultant throughout and is now Project Manager for the construction phase, have been invaluable in this project. Without the support of our investors, however, we would not be at this stage – thanks everyone.
Lindy MacLellan, Project Development Officer, August 2014
Welcoming the announcement by The Crown Estate (TCE) that it has awarded a Tidal Demonstration Zone to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) working jointly with the Islay Energy Trust (IET), Philip Maxwell, Chairman of Islay Energy Trust said: “Local involvement in the development of local assets is critically important for island communities. We are very keen to be at the forefront of marine renewables development and the economic opportunities it offers. The consortium approach allows us to play a key role in developing the area sympathetically, taking account of other local interests through comprehensive local consultation.”
The tidal demonstration zone is off the west of Islay and adjacent to the zone currently being developed by DP Energy.
Being awarded rights to an area of seabed by TCE means that IET and EMEC will, in due course, become Third Party Manager (TPM) of the site and so be able to manage and develop the seabed and sub-let areas of seabed for developers to pursue tidal projects.
IET welcomes the further progress in the Sound of Islay project by the request to Scottish Ministers that amended consent for the development be deemed to be granted.
Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) recently applied to Scottish Ministers for consent to construct an offshore demonstration tidal energy array in the Sound of Islay and associated onshore generating station with an installed capacity of 10 MW. The purpose of this application is to amend the consent awarded to SPR by Scottish Ministers in March 2011 and requests that planning permission for the associated onshore development is deemed to be granted.
A copy of the application and related documentation is available for inspection in the IET offices and at the Argyll and Bute Council offices on Jamieson Street in Bowmore.
Anyone wishing to make representations regarding this application should do so by email to email@example.com or by post to The Scottish Government, Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen AB11 9DB.
The following press release was issued by the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society today.
PRESS RELEASE 22nd May 2014
ISLAY’S COMMUNITY WIND PROJECT RAISES £1.27 MILLION
The Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS) has successfully raised the £1.27 million needed for investment in its community wind project. £535,000 was raised by the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS) share offer which closed on 31st March, and the remaining £735,000 has been secured as a loan from the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF). This is believed to be the first community wind project in Scotland to be part-funded by a community benefit society.
IECBS plans to install a single 330 kW Enercon E33 wind turbine, height 61 metres from ground to blade tip, on a site leased from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) located near Castlehill, Isle of Islay. On average, it will generate electricity equivalent to the yearly consumption of around 300 homes, and will save about 600 tonnes p.a. of CO2 emissions. 5 years of development work on the project was carried out by the Islay Energy Trust (IET), supported by Community Energy Scotland, the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) and Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), SNH and IET. The Big Lottery Fund also contributed through a grant for the cost of the grid connection upgrade..
The wind turbine is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of November 2014. When operational, the Project is expected to yield financial benefits for the community of £60-80,000 p.a., or up to £2.5million over the 20-year life of the project (allowing for inflation). The community benefit funds will be distributed by the Islay Energy Trust (IET) on Islay, Jura and Colonsay in accordance with its charitable objectives. These include development of more community-owned renewable energy projects, provision of advice on energy efficiency, and grants/loans for relief of fuel poverty and annual grants to local voluntary and charitable organisations.
Jenni Minto, Secretary of IECBS, said: “We are delighted with the fantastic response to the share offer. 80% of applications came from Islay, Jura and Colonsay residents, and the amount raised was well beyond our expectations. We are also very grateful to Scottish Enterprise which has provided the balance of the funding needed from the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF), and to all those organisations and people who supported the development work.”
Andrew Smith, head of REIF said: “This is a really exciting project which illustrates the potential for renewable energy in supporting local communities in more remote locations. In fact a key part of REIF’s remit is to support initiatives such as this, which offer support at a local level, while contributing to Scotland’s growing reputation as a global centre for the development of innovative technologies and projects in renewables”
Iona McDonald, Local Energy Scotland CARES Development Officer added, “We are delighted with this result of sustained hard work over several years by members of the Islay community, backed with support from CARES, and we look forward to seeing the wind turbine going up later this year.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Kerrie Grant, Head of Strengthening Communites commented, ‘HIE is overjoyed that the support we have provided to Islay Energy Trust through account management over the past three years has resulted in the successful development of the IECBS andthe future delivery of a community wind turbine. This, together with a number of other projects currently being delivered by IET, will provide excellent benefits to the communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay and contribute towards the sustainability of IET. Congratulations to all involved!’
Islay Energy Community Benefit Society
Tel: 01496 301413
For more information, visit http://www.islayenergycbs.com
This follows a press release issued yesterday by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing:
Millions for renewable energy projects
New investment will boost green energy.
Scottish Enterprise has announced £3.5 million of new investment in Scotland’s growing renewable energy sector, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.
Four projects are being supported through the enterprise agency’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).
In Aberdeen, attending the All-Energy Conference, Mr Ewing said:
“This latest round of Scottish Enterprise funding underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to Scotland’s growing renewables sector.
“Scotland is a world leader in deploying renewables technology. We have tremendous green energy potential and vast natural resources, about a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal energy and 10% of its wave power.
“Clean, green energy is creating opportunities for communities across Scotland and delivering jobs and investment.”
Welcoming the investment, head of REIF Andrew Smith said:
“These are really ambitious and exciting projects, which clearly demonstrate the wide range of initiatives that REIF was set up to support. They also show how by working with other funders we can leverage significant investment from the private sector.
“Scotland is fast gaining a global reputation for being at the forefront of developing and testing new technologies in the development of wind, wave and tidal energy, and all of these projects will make a real contribution to the ongoing development of the sector.”
Calum Davidson, Director of Energy and Low Carbon at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:
“The investment in each of these projects is particularly welcome given their pioneering nature and potential impact on economic and social development in the Highlands and Islands.
“Not only will they contribute to further development of wave, tidal and community owned renewable energy, but their innovative nature ensures that yet again Scotland remains firmly in the renewable energy spotlight.
“This is further demonstrated this week at All-Energy, where the largest regional presence is held by the Highlands and Islands.”
The Renewable Energy Investment Fund was launched in October 2012. Its aim is to promote the use of energy from specific renewable sources and drive further investment into key areas of Scotland’s renewables industry.
REIF is delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – on behalf of the Scottish Government and its Enterprise Agencies.
WATERS is a collaborative venture between Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).Companies based in Scotland and Scottish subsidiaries of overseas companies are invited to submit project proposals that will advance wave and tidal energy devices.
Contact: Cristina Dello Sterpaio on 0131 244 2175 or 07557 848722
The full report from the community consultation carried out on our behalf by SKS Scotland is available here: Community Needs Analysis 2013
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on Islay, Jura and Colonsay who helped to compile the study, by filling out questionnaires, taking part in focus groups and attending open meetings. We hope you’ll find the results interesting! The report was used as a reference for our successful application to the Big Lottery towards the cost of our grid connection, and provides a framework for the distribution of funds when the turbine has been installed and commissioned. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch
A public meeting was held in Bowmore Village Hall on Tuesday 14th May to discuss the proposal to establish the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS). The idea was well-received and the presentations by Jenni Minto, IET’s Treasurer and David Hollings, from Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Limited, gave a clear explanation of how IECBS would operate.
Copies of the presentation are available here:
The purpose of the IECBS is to raise funds to finance the installation of the community wind turbine at Castlehill. A community benefit society is set up and run by its members in order to conduct business for the benefit the community. The members are people and/or organisations who buy shares in the society, and receive interest on their investments.
The profits made by the society are used to provide benefit to the whole community. Each member has one vote irrespective of the amount invested, and the Board of Directors is elected by the members.