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United Kingdom

Scotland's first community project on island of Gigha

Three second-hand wind turbines are to be installed on the island of Gigha in Scotland's first community wind project. The 225 kW Vestas machines-currently at Haverigg wind farm in Cumbria-are being bought by the Island of Gigha Heritage Trust (IGHT), the company with charitable status that has owned most of the island since the islanders bought it from its private owner in 2002. The £400,000 wind project is expected to earn up to £80,000 a year in sales of electricity and will earn additional income from the sale of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). The money will be invested in development projects on the island. IGHT is buying the turbines with an £82,000 grant from the Scottish Executive, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is to buy £80,000 of shares in Gigha Renewable Energy Ltd, the company set up by IGHT to own and operate the project. The shares will be bought back within five years by IGHT with revenue from the wind turbines. IGHT also secured a £148,000 loan from Social Investment Scotland, and £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's Fresh Futures Scheme. HIE is setting up a community energy company to replicate the Gigha model allowing communities across its area to benefit from renewable energy generation. The project is expected to be operating by October.

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