Two Scottish community renewable energy projects have teamed up to
make a St. Andrew’s Day appeal for support. The two projects – one
from Edinburgh and the other from Strathpeffer in the Highlands – have
chosen Scotland’s national day to appeal for online votes to help them
win funding from the Energyshare fund.
River Cottage and Scottish Gas are putting power in the hands of the
people from across Scotland by encouraging them to vote in their
Energyshare Fund, a new green initiative giving the public a say on
where hundreds of thousands of pounds should be spent to help local
community energy projects.
The energyshare fund will enable communities to generate renewable
energy which will create an income stream to support a variety of
Strathpeffer Community Centre in Ross-shire and Portobello & Leith
Community Wind Energy Project in Edinburgh are two locally run
community projects from Scotland who have made it through to the last
19 schemes (out of nearly 1000) in a bid to win the funding.
Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project
Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project would see a
community-owned wind turbine built at Seafield in Edinburgh. In 2010,
PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town and Greener Leith, started working
together to explore the feasibility of a wind turbine on land at
Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works in Edinburgh. If successful, this
will be the first community-owned large scale wind project in a UK
Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Greener Leith said: “Portobello & Leith
Community Wind Energy Project has the potential to make a big
difference to carbon emissions and generate substantial funding for
the next 25 years for local sustainable development projects which in
the current economic climate simply would not be considered
affordable. If we are successful, the funding will be a big step
towards reality for a project that could reduce CO2 emissions from
electricity generation by between 400 and 2000 tonnes per year over
the lifetime of the installation. We’d like as many Scots as possible
to show their support on this St. Andrew’s Day and vote for Portobello
& Leith Community Wind Energy Project by visiting
Eva Schonveld, Chair of PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town said: “We
are delighted to have got this far in the Energyshare competition, but
if we are to turn our renewable vision into reality, we really need
Scots the world over to support our project on St. Andrew’s Day.”
Locally run, Strathpeffer Community Centre is open to all the
community. Despite being only 10 years old, the centre is not energy
efficient. The centre wants to be more efficient and reduce costs so
that the money the charity raises can go on activities for the
community and not on keeping the centre heated. They are concentrating
on installing practical energy saving measures including automatic
entrance doors, motion sensing light switches and loft insulation.
Clara Hickey, Strathpeffer Community Centre Manager said: “We are
delighted to be in the final nineteen community groups selected by
Scottish Gas and River Cottage to win the energyshare prize. We are
calling on people from across Scotland to vote for us as our project
is based on the practical things we can do to the centre to make it
more efficient and so save money on our electricity bill, small
changes will mean a lot to us and our community. We have had a great
deal of support from our village but need the whole of Scotland to now
get behind us and vote for us. We hope as many people cast their vote
for Strathpeffer by visiting energyshare.com/voting.”
River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall said:“We have already seen
at energyshare.com communities who through either saving money on
their energy bills or creating income though energy generation have
reinvigorated key community facilities. The funding available is not
simply about turbines or solar PV, it’s about enabling people to make
their communities more sustainable – both environmentally and
Gearoid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas New Markets, said:
“We’re seeing a genuine groundswell of interest around the country
from communities wanting to generate their own clean, green energy.
Energyshare is the first initiative of its kind that allows people to
have their say in how communities save and generate their own energy.”
There will be four recipients of funding, decided entirely by the
public via a vote that is taking place at energyshare.com/voting.
There are three categories: small, medium and large and people can
vote once in each category.
Strathpeffer is within the small category and Portobello and Leith
Community Wind Energy Project is within the medium category. They are
the only groups that have reached this final stage from Scotland.So
they hope to gain as much local support as they can in addition to
inspiring others across Britain with their exciting plans.
The public vote opened on 15 November and the winners will be
announced on 3rd December.
Anyone voting can become a winner too – River Cottage is giving away 5
books every day to voters. Plus, for the energyshare Group who gets
the most supporters voting, they can scoop a £1,000 cash prize.
Get involved now at energyshare.com/voting