Islay gets ready to blow its own turbine!

TIslay turbine goes up2he community-owned wind turbine development on Islay has taken another step forward with the arrival on the island of the 330kW Enercon wind turbine. 

The tower is now complete, with the nacelle in place, with the construction team now waiting for a break in the weather to attach the blades.

The single Enercon E33 wind turbine, height 61 metres from ground to blade tip, is being installed on a site leased from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) located near Castlehill, 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.

The wind turbine is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of November 2014. When operational, it is expected to generate up to £80,000 a year for the community trust – or up to £2.5million over the 20-year life of the project (allowing for inflation).

Islay turbine goes up3The 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.

The Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS) raised the £1.27 million needed for investment in its community wind project – of which £535,000 was raised by the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society (IECBS) share offer.

The remaining £735,000 was secured as a government loan. This is believed to be the first community wind project in Scotland to be part-funded by a community benefit society.

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