Community wind turbine will generate money for local projects
The Western isles first community-owned turbine has been officially opened on Lewis.
The first community owned wind turbine in the Western Isles has been officially opened.
The 900kw machine has been built on crofters' common grazings at Shawbost on Lewis.
It is estimated it will generate more than £100,000 annually to invest in local amenities and improve transport links.
Local resident David Wright has been a driving force behind the scheme.
He said: "It's taken since 2004 to get the turbine up. I am looking forward for many other communities taking the initiative.
"We will look at ideas coming from the community and give grants based on assessments carried out."
Mr Wright stressed: "It’s a great thing for our community and it would be the same for any other community that decides to go down that route."
Community Energy Scotland (CES) heavily backed the community in its aims.
Kathleen Macdonald of CES said profits community owned energy schemes offered a vital stream of finance to local areas seeking improvements, development and regeneration.
She pointed out that, so far, around 17 megawatts of community energy developments were up and running around Scotland, equivalent to powering every home in the Western Isles.
She added: "Because these schemes are 100% community owned, all the benefit goes back into the local area, making community groups sustainable and resilient so they can tackle the most important issues in their area."
On Friday two pipers led villagers up to the turbine where it was officially opened by the widows of two directors of the trust who died recently.
Residents celebrated with champagne and cake at the local hall which will be followed by an evening ceilidh and buffet.