A specialist developer of small wind projects, Windcluster, is offering the people of Islay a chance to participate in a wind scheme if its five turbines at Laggan on the Scottish island get the go ahead. The company's Euan Cameron says an island is ideal for a community-owned scheme since the population is contained. "We have always been interested in community schemes but this is the first opportunity we have had to do it," he comments. Cameron explains that Windcluster's aim is to develop a scheme tailored to the requirements of the local population and which would probably involve selling shares. "We are trying to take advantage of any tax benefits -- for example through the Enterprise Investment Scheme -- and hope to keep the minimum investment level as low as possible." Windcluster is negotiating with the Department of Trade and Industry's renewable energy arm at ETSU for some support for the additional work involved in setting up a community owned development. The local people have already shown enthusiasm for the idea. "At a public exhibition on the island we got a very positive response to our plans for community investment. We are encouraged by that," says Cameron.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol