The Islay Community Wind Project is at the forefront of a growing trend in social investment and has joined a group of Scottish island communities establishing a more sustainable, socio-economic future through the exploitation of renewable energy resources using local enterprise. This project is unique as it is one of the first community-owned wind projects in Scotland to be part-financed through a community benefit society share offer.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Islay Energy Community Benefit Society in April this year, it was announced that the sum of £60,000 would be transferred to Islay Energy Trust (IET) to provide a number of grant funding opportunities towards a range of community projects in the communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay.
To date, we have received 22 Expressions of Interest submitted from across Islay, Jura and Colonsay. These have led to 10 full applications for funding so far, across a wide range of different local project areas; from modernising home heating systems, to helping repair pathways around Islay to supporting schemes aimed at helping environmental projects.
The turbine continues to perform well and to-date has produced over 2million kilowatt hours, which is above expectations. It is anticipated that the turbine will continue to provide annually increasing levels of funding for investment and community projects for many years into the future.
Applications for funding are still being accepted and may be submitted by anyone resident and registered on the electoral roll or from groups, organisations or businesses with a registered address on Islay, Jura or Colonsay.
Funding is available in three priority areas:
– Developing renewable energy projects for community benefit – primarily targeting larger-scale projects looking for investment in projects and renewable energy.
– Strengthening Communities – assisting groups/individuals to build capacity locally and to achieve social and environmental benefits
– Energy and Fuel Efficiency – supporting individuals/groups in modernising outdated fuel systems and aiming to provide energy savings; supporting individuals faced with paying a large portion of their income on heating costs.
Projects should provide clear benefits to the people and wider communities of Islay, Jura and Colonsay.
Funding application forms can be downloaded from the IET website (https://islayenergytrust.org.uk/), but paper copies are available at the IET office in Custom House, Bowmore. For further information, contact Dr Billy Sinclair on 01496 301413 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org