Nine megawatts of community-owned wind power is set to be installed on the Isle of Lewis in the most ambitious community energy project yet seen in Scotland. Point and Sandwick Power, a subsidiary of the Point and Sandwick Development Trust has announced that their project has successfully reached financial close and can now proceed.
Community Energy Scotland’s Kirsten Macdonald, based in Stornoway, said ‘We are delighted that Point and Sandwick Power has got the final green light and that Scotland’s largest community-owned windfarm can now go ahead! Once generating, Point and Sandwick’s turbines will produce a regular income to fund community projects not just in Lewis, but throughout the Western Isles.’
“The three turbines at Beinn Ghrideag could generate up to £1 million a year and it is important that we use it effectively to support local good causes and sustainable local jobs.”
Point Power’s Calum Macdonald, who has led the project was interviewed by the BBC.
He said that the Point and Sandwick wind turbines demonstrated that community renewable energy projects could be both large and small, and that commercial projects were not the only way to achieve considerable scale. Calum also advised that the main lender was the Bank, Santander, and that support from the Scottish Government and Big Lottery Fund had helped reach the financial close for the project.
Chair of Community Energy Scotland, Carola Bell, who also lives on Lewis added:
“The Point and Sandwick community will own and operate the biggest turbines on Lewis, and join the community-owned turbines at Horshader, Balantrushal and Tolsta. These four project mean that over 12 megawatts of output can be generated from community turbines on Lewis alone.
“The Community-owned turbines on South Uist and Barra add to this total – meaning that community –owned output in the Western Isles will reach 19.5megawatts. Smaller wind turbines on community halls supported by Community Energy Scotland nudge the figure towards an amazing 20megawatts of installed capacity.”
Carola concluded said that Community Energy Scotland congratulates Calum and his team at Point Power. Community energy in the Western Isles is now a real force, utilising our great natural resource that is our wind, for the clear and enduring benefit of the communities who live on these islands.’
“If your town or district has the ambition to join the many places around Scotland producing and managing energy for the benefit of local communities – you can count on us to help.”
Pictured is Donald John McSween, Chair of Point and Sandwick Development Trust