Barra & Vatersay Wind Energy

Customer: Barra & Vatersay Wind Energy Ltd
Location: Outer Hebrides
Technology: Wind
Installed capacity: 900kW
Commissioned: 2014
Customer since: 2014 

Clean power dividends will benefit residents for a generation

When the island of Barra’s wind turbine started operation in 2014 the community celebrated the completion of a massive project which will benefit residents for a generation.

The 900kW Enercon E-44 wind turbine has been installed at the most north westerly point of the island where it is expected to become one of the most productive turbines of its size in Western Europe.

It is forecast to generate a community dividend of £50,000 to £100,000 each year of its 20-25 year lifespan in addition to covering the core costs of the local community company and financing a strategic fund for capital projects.

“It was a long journey to get the turbine up and running but worthwhile as the local community will benefit from the income stream generated over the years to come,” said Project Leader Euan Scott.

“I think the turbine has helped give the islanders here a sense of self belief and a confidence that there is a future not just for ourselves but for our children.”

The project is thought to be the first community wind turbine project to have been successfully undertaken entirely in-house. Residents had to overcome many challenges – not least the fact the island in the Outer Hebrides is some 75 miles from the Scottish mainland.

The £2.45 million project, which sells its electricity to SmartestEnergy under a Power Purchase Agreement, was financed with backing including a loan of £1.85 million from Triodos Bank and £550,000 from the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund.

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