With work now getting underway on building two community-owned wind turbines at Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde, local people have a second chance to join the Small Wind Co-operative which is behind the project.
Phase 2 was launched in Glasgow by Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde. While the first phase attracted over 300 members from throughout the UK, for phase 2, people living within 20 miles of the project are being given priority membership until November 1st.
Stuart McMillan, MSP, said: “It’s great news that work is about to start on the Kellybank turbines, supporting initiatives that improve employment prospects and grow a further sense of community in Inverclyde. And now local people have a second chance to join the co-operative and benefit directly from owning a share in these wind turbines.
“The impressive levels of electricity generated from wind recently are evidence that we should be investing in Scotland’s enviable potential for a clean and reliable source of energy for our future.
“The Scottish Government will ensure that by 2020 at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership like this one. And we will argue for Scottish control of our share of feed-in tariffs to help promote community ownership schemes.”
The Kellybank site is just above the town of Wemyss Bay, east of the Clyde estuary where the winds blow in from the islands to the west. The community fund from the Kellybank turbines will be targeted to support initiatives which improve employment prospects and which grow a sense of community in the local area.
Leila Sharland, project manager, Small Wind Coop, said:
“Community-owned wind power has been rapidly growing as people are inspired by Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ movement to take ownership of energy generation and bills away from the big energy companies and into the hands of the people. Scotland is leading the way with local community-owned projects creating and supporting local jobs and generating carbon-free electricity, and this is a great opportunity for people in Inverclyde to be part of that.”
Members of the co-operative will all have an equal vote in running it and will be able to use the energy generated in their own home, thanks to an agreement with Co-operative Energy which has agreed to buy the power generated.
Sharenergy has helped set up over 30 community energy projects throughout the UK. It’s easy to join the Small Wind Co-op, using the application form in the comprehensive Offer Document, available to download at the Small Wind Coop website www.smallwind.org.uk