Former UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson has endorsed the current community share issue for two turbines on the Isle of Lewis. Urras Energy Society plans to build two more 900kW turbines at their site on the community-owned Galson Estate.
In an interview with the BBC, Brian Wilson stressed that an investment in the Urras Energy project would benefit local people and the environment. Brian added that many commercial projects promised for the islands had failed to materialise, but that community-owned turbines on the Galson Estate and elsewhere on Lewis had been a success.
The community of Galson Estate in north-west Lewis in the Outer Hebrides has taken the initiative to raise social equity to part-fund two 900kW wind turbines planned for 2015 through a community benefit society, Urras Energy. Consents and grid agreements are already in place and the turbine contract has been signed. This is a community with a strong track-record – a 900kW turbine was installed in late 2013 and has just racked up 2,000MWhs.
Urras Energy is selling green, ethical shares that are sized to suit a variety of investment appetites and has already achieved £207,000 of investment in just over four weeks.
Carola Bell, a founder member of Urras Energy, commented:
“We have already proved we can deliver by successfully installing one turbine on time and on budget and which is now generating income. As well as a very competitive return, you can be confident that your investment will be both green and ethical.
“Anyone who has ever experienced the wind in the Outer Hebrides knows it’s different and can understand how predictable and powerful it is over the north-west part of the UK. This ensures highly reliable financial returns from wind energy.”
Individuals over 16 years old and organisations can invest amounts between £250 and £100,000 against which they will receive estimated returns of 4-6% over 20 years. These initiatives are typically eligible for the UK Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme which can allow taxpayers to claim relief of up to 30% on their initial investment sum.
Profits from these turbines will be channelled through the community-run landowner, Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, to deliver high priority local projects that will help to create a long-term sustainable future for Galson Estate.
Pictured is former UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson