A long trip from New Zealand ends in the Harris hills.
The North Harris Trust has been working for over 9 years to develop the site at Monan, above Ardhasaig. Whilst communities at Horshader, Galson and Tolsta managed to commission their community turbines, North Harris lagged behind due to the challenging wind conditions. With grid-connection and financing problems behind us, and a suitable turbine, our joint venture with the turbine manufacturer has finally started to bear fruit.
For four years we have been working with Windflow Technology Ltd, who manufacture a unique two-bladed machine that can deal with the turbulent wind conditions found amongst the North Harris hills. Last week the first of three machines arrived from New Zealand and was lifted into place. Carrying out this work in the winter months is always risky, but the weather was sufficiently calm to allow the nacelle with blades to be lifted to the top of the tower. Duncan MacKay & Sons moved onto site way back in August. Since then they have built a 1200m access track and foundations. Now the job is on to get the cables installed in the ground and connected down the hill to the substation cabinet. Fingers are crossed that SSE can bring together the appropriate people to get the turbine connected to the grid before Christmas.
Once the Christmas break is over, preparations will get underway for the arrival of Turbine 2 and 3. Foundations and crane hard-standings are already in place. It is hoped that the turbines will be operational at the start of March and delivering a new income to the community for many years to come.