Scottish Community Groups Make St Andrew’s Day Appeal for Support

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
com­munity activ­it­ies.

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
city.

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
energyshare.com/voting.

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.”

Strathpeffer

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
eco­nom­ic­ally.”

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

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