The Isle of Gigha is celebrating a major milestone in the development of the island with the naming of a new wind turbine on the island.
The island’s fourth community-owned turbine has officially been named Harmony, a name chosen from a list of suggestions provided by local residents.
The existing three turbines, are named Faith, Hope and Charity to further underpin the economic future of the community owned island. The island was purchased 13 years ago by the community.
The Isle of Gigha is known as “God’s Isle” from the ancient Norse who visited the island.
The new Enercon 330kw turbine joins the three original Vestas 225kw turbines which have now been generating power, money and confidence for the island community for nearly a decade.
Margaret McSporran, Chairman of Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust, said, “It is great to see the successful culmination of this major project. The long term benefits for our community are central to the future development of our community. Turning our natural renewable resources into direct benefits for our island is a great win for us and continues our tradition of innovation, partnership and community spirit.”
The project has been supported by a wide range of partners and included funding received from the Scottish Investment Bank through the Renewable Energy Investment Fund. The team at the Co-op Bank helped to source additional funding and essential development support and guidance came from Community Energy Scotland, Enercon, the manufacturers of the T33 turbine, Good Energy, Nsure and Scottish Southern Energy.
The project was developed and lead by a company set up and run by the community, Gigha Green Power Limited.
Willie McSporran, Chair of Gigha Green Power Limited, said, “This turbine, called Harmony, will join the other three turbines, also known as the Dancing Ladies, in providing energy and resources for Gigha. We would not have reached this major milestone without the support of our community and the dedicated team who we would like to thank for their commitment and hard work.
Steven Watson, Corporate Manager, Community Energy Scotland, said: “Gigha’s turbines have been the catalyst for the recovery of an island that had reached a low ebb. The islanders led the way for so many other communities to follow, and now, they are leading the way again, with a fourth new turbine linked to innovative battery storage.’
“Before Gigha built their first three turbines, no one thought large scale community energy projects were possible – or even very desirable.
“The cable track for the turbine was reinstated earlier this year using Clydesdale horses from Kintyre and the chairman of the local heritage trust, Willie MacSporran and islander John McNeil both took turns at the ploughing.
“The photographs of the horses working close to the turbines are truly evocative. They demonstrate the natural link between land stewardship and renewable energy generation.’