WHAT WE DO
We care about preserving our natural environment and work hard to create sustainable energy for the community.
Scarista Wind Turbine
The Trusts wholly owned subsidiary, West Harris Renewables Limited installed a 53kw Harbon wind turbine on the Scarista common grazings in March 2014. The turbine cost around £250,000 and was funded by a loan from Social Investment Scotland and trust funds. It is predicted that the turbine will generate a gross revenue of approximately £45,000/yr.
Seilebost School Wind Turbine
Through its renewables subsidiary the Trust has installed a 5kw Evance wind turbine at Seilebost School. The turbine was erected on Saturday 27th October 2012 and was connected to the school on 15th November 2012. It was connected to the grid when SSE carried out works to an underground connecting cable.
The original idea was that the turbine would provide the school with free electricity and also donate any profits from the operation of the turbine to school funds for as long as the school remained open. Unfortunately the school closed in June 2013. The Trust has since purchased the building from the Comhairle and we are now benefiting from the free electricity.
GLEANN DUBHLINN HYDRO SCHEME
**Update: The turbine and generator at Gleann Dubhlinn roared into life on Friday 23rd September at 17.45pm and will be generating electricity and income for West Harris for many years to come.**
Identified early in the feasibility study process looking at the purchase of the estate this scheme aims to install a small run of river hydro scheme to generate 100kw of power. A small weir will be built in a river near to Seilebost from where water will be taken by pipeline to a small turbine house next to the old road that has been bypassed by the nearby causeway. Ross-shire Engineering have been appointed to design and build the proposed scheme.
Unlike wind turbines every hydro installation has to be designed specifically for the site and therefore this project has taken some time to develop. Delays have been caused by the FITs review in 2012 and issues with getting a secure grid connection. It is hoped that the grid connection will be resolved early in 2013, allowing the Trust to move forward with finalising financing of the project.
Total capital costs of the project (including arranging finance) are expected to be around £750,000. It is expected to generate around £120,000/year in gross income. Profit will be £15-20,000/yr rising to £100,000/year once all of the borrowing is repaid after 15 years. This highlights how hydro schemes are expensive to install but cheap to maintain in the long run.
The income generated will play a vital role in ensuring the future sustainability of the Trust and the wider community. It will cover core running costs and will allow the Trust to invest in new projects to provide more employment, housing and social opportunities in the area.