Following the successful outcome of the Scalpay tender Ecodyn secured a project with Harris Development Limited investigating the feasibility of installing three large wind turbines on South Harris. A detailed review of topography, grid, access and wind speeds concluded that the project should be amended to encompass three small/medium wind turbines (each owned by a separate Trust on different parts of the island with income specifically targeted to those areas) and one large wind turbine (owned by the whole island with income invested in projects throughout the island). The project also included developing a detailed business plan for each turbine.
To date Ecodyn has been successful in securing planning approval for two of the smaller wind turbines, of which one was installed in March of last year at Sgarista, opposite Harris Golf Club.
We are currently putting together a joint venture partnership (JV) with West Harris Trust, private investors and a wind turbine manufacturer to develop a wind turbine installation providing renewable electricity and heat to the new community hall and social housing development at Horgabost, Isle of Harris. This development has one of the last export connection agreements that will be issued in the Western Isles for many years, although even this is restricted to 50kW. Ecodyn is working with Belgian wind turbine manufacturer XANT to develop a solution based on a 100kW Class 1a turbine, with an energy management system to restrict grid export to 50kW, with the balance being diverted to a thermal store which in turn supplies heat to a district heating system connected to the new Community Hall and six Housing Association houses. These properties will also receive direct electricity from the turbine (through a small private wire network) when it is generating. The project has planning approval and work on the development has already started.
The JV for this development is based on a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) model, including the Community Trust, the turbine manufacturer, Ecodyn and private investors. This approach allows the community much greater benefit from a larger and more sophisticated installation than would otherwise have been possible. The export management system allows a larger and more robust turbine to be used and the inclusion of the manufacturer gives comfort to all parties that the turbine will be actively maintained to ensure continuous operation.