Posts Tagged ‘renewable’

Monan update

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Like many projects in the Western Isles, our Monan wind project is held up by grid issues. Anyone living in the isles will know about “the interconnector”. This is the new cable that will go under the Minch allowing energy generated in the isles to be exported to the mainland.

We are told that the Lewis and Harris electricity grid is full. There is no room for new generation. The interconnector will solve this issue – but not until 2015 at the earliest. There is still some risk that this 2015 date will slip. There’s a chicken and egg thing going on too. Large commercial developers don’t want to commit until the interconnector is definite. SSE don’t want to commit to installing the interconnector until enough commercial developers have signed up. This leaves community groups like ourselves stuck until the “big boys” sort it out.

Windflow Technologies, who we are working with on the project, have been in regular contact with SSE, trying to find an interim solution. Could we not just generate when its cold and there’s lots of demand? Surely, there must be some concession that can be made until the interconnector comes to allow generators on line, and start generating all that green energy both governments have commited to?

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The great wind turbine debate

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Last week, North Harris Trust was invited to take part in a debate on wind power. The S2 year-group were covering wind power in their Geography course work. They wanted to hear the arguments for and against this form of renewable energy. Having had some experience with wind projects, the Energy Development Officer was the obvious choice to talk in favour of wind power. Talking against wind-power was a difficult one. In the end, the Land Manager, who likes a good argument, volunteered. After hours on the internet, he pulled together a presentation with plenty of exploding turbines, to scare the pupils.

Following both sides of the debate, the floor opened for questions. Judging by the difficulty of the questions, the pupils took note of what we hope was a balanced argument. Now they can make their own minds up!

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Turbines are go!

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Over the last couple of weeks, despite the gales, West Electrical has ploughed on with the installation of the two 5kW turbines at Scaladale. The machines were up last week, and now just need some final internal work to be completed. The hope is that before the end of the week, green energy will be flowing into the heaters at the Scaladale Centre.

This project was completed for the benefit of Lewis and Harris Youth Club Association, a registered charity, by a partnership between The North Harris Trust, Community Energy Scotland Trading and the Ardvourlie Grazings Committee.

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Act now – warm up your winter

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A new energy-saving scheme is in the process of being launched by the Energy Saving Trust and CnES. It offers free insulation including underfloor insulation and draft-proofing. Unlike previous schemes, this one is non-contributory and non-benefits/age tested.

Also in the detail of the offer is a £600 voucher towards the replacement of old inefficient boilers. As before there is also access to an interest free loan for renewable heat and energy installations. This offers upto £4000 interest free for 8 years per technology.

All queries should be addressed to the HOME ENERGY HOTLINE on 0800 512012

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Grasping an opportunity for North Harris

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In the current economic climate, it’s getting more difficult to obtain funding for renewable energy schemes. However, late last year an opportunity arose when the North Harris Trust was contacted by Community Energy Scotland Trading (CES-T). They have funding for a small number of 5kW wind turbines, and were looking for good wind sites to locate them. CES-T has been speaking with both Lewis and Harris Youth Club (LHYCA) and Hebridean Housing Partnership (HHP) about feeding electricity into some of their premises. The Trust, who manages the community land that the turbines would sit on, is doing some of the preparatory work for CES-T. CES have helped us with a number of our own North Harris projects in the past.

You may have seen the Screening Requests that were included in the Planning Application lists in November and December. These are a precursor to a planning application, and are used to seek opinions from the statutory bodies and from the public. The applications show three sites above the Scaladale Centre, and three sites above the HHP development at Seileamol. The sites at Seileamol were chosen to take into account the views of a number of local residents. The Scaladale sites have been chosen to reduce visual impact.

Once the Screening Opinions have been received from CnES, it is hoped that a full planning application can be submitted. We have had discussions with a number of residents but would like to hear from anyone who has any concerns before we progress either scheme.  Plans are available for viewing at the Old Hostel or if there is enough interest, a community briefing could be organised in the two townships. Please contact David Wake 01859 502222 at North Harris Trust for further information.

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