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North Uist wind farm generates enough electricity to power all homes on the island

By Calum MacLeod

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The community owned UistWind wind farm.
The community owned UistWind wind farm.

The community owned UistWind wind farm on North Uist achieved a significant milestone this month, generating enough electricity to power every single home on the island.

The two Enercon 900kW E44 wind turbines at Criongrabhal near Clachan-na-Luib generated 6.129 MWh of electricity between commissioning on September 13 2019 and September 8 this year – just beating the annual island homes consumption figure by five days.

This remarkable feat is just the latest accomplishment for a project that has overcome significant challenges.

The UistWind project was conceived back in 2010 but needed to overcome considerable financing and development hurdles before finally being commissioned in September 2019. A major part of this success was a community share offer, which raised £453,850 from more than 220 investors, allowing the project to proceed.

Now, the island community can benefit from green electricity which offsets enough to power all of its homes. Income from the electricity generated, meanwhile, will be invested in local community projects, creating opportunities to help combat depopulation.

Speaking for Locogen, project managers for the wind farm development, director Stuart Hamilton said: “After all the challenges of developing and constructing this project, it’s fantastic to see the first year of generation data and that important milestone being exceeded. We can now see the positive impact UistWind will have on the community for many years to come.”

Ameena Camps, project delivery manager at North Uist Development Company, said: “This is an exciting major achievement for UistWind, for the community of North Uist and for the UK in helping to meet renewable energy targets; highlighting that tenacity truly can reap many rewards.”

The UistWind project aims to create over £2 million for the community over a projected 22 years, with profits going straight back to the community via North Uist Development Company’s charitable activities.

Mustapha Hocine, chairman of the North Uist Development Company (Trading) Ltd, said: “I am delighted that we have reached this key stage.The prospect is bright for UistWind and there is excitement amongst all involved about the benefits that will be able to be delivered to the community in the future.”

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