The following press release was issued by the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society today.

PRESS RELEASE 22nd May 2014
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!’
Contact details:
Islay Energy Community Benefit Society
Tel: 01496 301413
For more information, visit

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).

  • Islay Energy Community Benefit Society will receive a £735k loan to install a community owned 330Kw turbine on the island, with the potential to power the equivalent of 300 homes.
  • Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation has secured a £700k loan from REIF to support the first phase of the 0.5MW Shetland Tidal Array, believed to be the first deployment of a tidal energy array anywhere in the world. Scottish Enterprise is backing the project with a £1.2 million R&D grant that will lever in an additional £1.85 million of private sector investment.
  • Fintry Development Trust, a body dedicated to making the village in Stirlingshire a zero-carbon, zero-waste community, is being supported with a £615k loan. It will help refinance a commercial agreement that gives the trust an income stream from the nearby Earlsburn Wind Farm. This income will be invested in local renewable projects.
  • Inverness company AWS Ocean Energy has received a loan of £250k to support further development and testing of its AWS-III, a wave energy device which offers the prospect of wave energy on a farm scale. AWS also received support through the first round of WATERS funding.

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

See also:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: