Customer: Westray Development Trust
Location: Westray, Orkney Islands
Installed capacity: 900kW
Customer since: 2009
After six years of planning and preparation, the small island community of Westray is reaping the benefits of its own wind turbine.
Profits expected to reach more than £200,000 a year from the turbine will be ploughed into projects to benefit the remote Orkney island’s 600 residents.
“The aim is that the money will be used to really make a difference to life on the island,” said David Stephenson, chairman of Westray Development Trust’s renewable energy company which operates the Enercon E44 turbine.
Although the community had to overcome many obstacles to realise its dream, David said - “The relationship with SmartestEnergy and particularly Scottish Business Development Manager Iain Robertson, had helped smooth the way."
"SmartestEnergy understands that as a community we are not experts in the power industry and do everything they can to make life easy for us.”
“The 10 year agreement we have in place provides long term visibility of income for the trust and our lenders Triodos Bank but it is also pretty flexible, enabling us to initially sign up for a price for six months before taking a three year extension.”
The £1.6m Westray scheme, which was supported by the Big Lottery Fund and won the Best Community Initiative category in the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2009, is expected to be used as a blueprint for other island communities keen to harness the potential of renewable energy.