Scotland’s first community-owned urban wind turbine took a step closer to reality today with the announcement of a £118,000 loan to Greener Leith to undertake preparatory works on the project.
Members of the community group expressed delight at the award from the Scottish Government under the Community and Renewable Energy Scotland loans fund, which covers 90% of the costs of pre-planning submission work for the proposed wind turbine on the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works. The group are still fundraising for the remaining 10% of project costs, but are hopeful the remaining costs can be raised soon.
The project, which is a joint venture between Greener Leith and neighbouring community group PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town, proposes to build a single wind turbine on the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Site of between 500kw and 2,300kw. The electricity would be sold locally and the surplus from the turbine would allow a community fund to benefit the communities of Leith, Portobello and Craigentinny.
Commenting on the announcement, Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Greener Leith said:
“We’re delighted to receive this backing from the Scottish Government, which will help us take this exciting project forward.
“If the wind turbine goes ahead, its surplus will allow a community fund that will directly benefit people living in Portobello, Craigentinny and Leith. Not only will it will provide the resources for green projects that in the current economic climate may not receive funding, we hope it will become an inspiration for other communities to do the same for themselves. Of course there is still a lot of work to be done before the project gets the final green light, but we hope that the proposed wind turbine will become a landmark and a source of local pride; an example of what can be achieved when local communities work together towards a common purpose.”
Eva Schonveld, Chair of PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town said:
“PEDAL have worked hard with Greener Leith to secure this finance for Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project. If it goes ahead it will bring material benefits to the local area as well as wider society and could also provide an inspiring visual focus for real sustainability on Edinburgh’s seafront. Clearly there is much still to do, not least in consulting fully with those who will be affected, but this award means we now have the majority of funds in place to take this exciting project to planning submission.”