In March 2007 a public meeting was held to discuss the construction of a five wind turbine farm at Corrimony. The Girvan family, the owners of the proposed site, offered the residents of Glen Urquhart and Strathglass the unique opportunity of taking ownership of one of the turbines with the money generated from it going directly back into the communities.
Following a period of consultaton through a series of public meetings and presentations, Soirbheas was formed as a Community Company with charitable status to take the project forward on behalf of the communities. The current Board of Directors are all people with strong connections with the area.
Soirbheas will require to borrow around £2M to fund the community turbine and has been in discussions with several prospective lenders and it is anticipated that the Co-op Bank with a strong record in supporting renewable energy schemes will have the lead role. To date the company has received grant funding from the National Lottery and Community Energy Scotland to progress the project.
Membership of Soirbheas is open to everyone in the communities concerned and the company is particularly keen to work with local people in order to identify their priorities once the income from the wind turbine becomes available. With the granting of planning permission for the project at the end of 2010 it is vital that the communities remain actively involved. A number of key areas where financial benefits from the project might be applied are:-
- Projects and activities which will benefit children.
- Projects which improve Education – in its widest sense.
- Actions that will enhance the local care for elderly and disadvantaged.
- Projects which address fuel poverty.
Local Drop-In Sessions
Four drop-in sessions are being arranged to hear your thoughts and answer questions about how community benefits will be applied once revenues are 'generated' by the community wind turbine.
Tomich Hotel: 15th May 11.30am – 2pm
Cannich Hall: June 16th 7pm – 9pm
Balnain Village Hall: June 23rd followed by Soirbheas AGM – time to be arranged
Drumnadrochit: Venue and date to be arranged
For more information about the project and to find out how you can become involved please visit our website – www.soirbheas.org