Timelapse of the two UistWind turbines being constructed
We’re delighted that Locogen client, North Uist Development Company, has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Community Project’ Award at the Scottish Green Energy Awards taking place in Edinburgh tonight. The project, UistWind, was project managed by Locogen and involved the installation of two Enercon 900kW E44 wind turbines at Criongrabhal near Clachan-na-Luib in North Uist.
Like many island wind projects, UistWind has faced significant challenges since project conception in 2010. These, however, were ultimately all overcome and celebrations were sparked when the first turbine began to turn for the first time at the end of July, exporting electricity and generating income for the local community.
Commenting on being shortlisted for Best Community Project, NUDC chair Mustapha Hocine said: “It’s always good for a small community project to be recognised with the extra effort needed by all to deliver a community project, especially after all the difficulties we have faced to get here. Congratulations go to staff, members and directors for all the hard work and adaptability to achieve these successes.”
UistWind was officially opened on September 20th, with project delivery manager, Ameena Camps, reflecting: “We are thrilled so many were able to join us on the Open Day, especially the North Uist primary school students who cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark this special occasion and came to celebrate the installation of their wind turbines, which will benefit younger generations into the future. It’s been a struggle to get to this point and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate with the community now both turbines are generating.”
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, congratulated the NUDC team saying: “The team at North Uist Development Company has worked tirelessly to overcome a number of challenges and I want to congratulate them for all their hard work and their achievements to date. I wish them every success with the project and look forward to seeing the turbines in action – benefiting the local North Uist community for years to come.”
Locogen Energy Services director, Stuart Hamilton, concluded: “It has indeed been a challenging project but also an extremely fulfilling one. We have a great sense of achievement now that the turbines are generating, knowing that they will bring significant and much-needed income into this fantastic community.”
The North Uist community are incredibly excited at the new opportunities this revenue will open up. UistWind have been engaging widely with the local community, including the North Uist Primary School students, to ensure it is the community themselves who decide how the benefit funds will be administered and what the funds will be spent on. A community investment plan will guide this process. The next steps of the project will be for the local community to name the turbines and provide educational school visits whilst working to maximise the revenue from the project. NUDC also aim to continue to spread the word about climate change and renewable energy through the development of further projects such as the planned Environment Centre.