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Peter Crone and Donnie Morrison

Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh Eilean na h-Òige is benefitting from a £19,000 boost from Pentland Road Windfarm Limited, one of the renewable energy firms that funds the Western Isles Development Trust which creates community benefits from the projects. 

And this boost to the project in Eriskay freed other funds to back a project in Cross in north Lewis, almost as far away as it is possible to get in the Western Isles from Eriskay.  

Since 2016, WIDT’s Main Fund alone has awarded almost £500,000 to important community projects throughout the Western Isles.

Pentland Road Windfarm Limited is the highest annual contributor to WIDT.

Important annual contributions are also received from a number of the community owned windfarms located in the islands. 

Despite having already made its agreed 2023 annual contribution, the company offered to fully subsidise the WIDT award of £19,000 to Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh towards the ground source heat pump borehole system at their new centre at the former Eriskay School. 

The company felt that the importance of the project to the community and the focus on renewables to achieve carbon-neutrality made it especially worthy of this extra contribution.

The WIDT Board says is delighted that this generous gesture allowed it to support the subsequent application from Comunn Eachdraidh Nis for funds to progress the expansion of the former Cross School facility at a time when WIDT’s reserves had been fully expended for the year.

The WIDT Board also wish to thank the company and the community owned wind farms for their continued contributions and support.  The funds have made a real difference to the lives of people in the Western Isles over the years, the board says. 

The Pentland Road Wind Farm outside Stornoway has now been operating for a decade, producing 450 million units of clean green electricity since 2013.  It  accounts for some 50% of the total wind power generation in the Western Isles at present and contributes the same proportion to sustaining the seven full-time technicians employed by the manufacturer Enercon to service the Western Isles wind turbine fleet.  

The Pentland Road Wind Farm says it has contributed more than £3 million to the Western Isles economy so far.  This includes lease payments to four grazing communities and the Stornoway Trust; WIDT contributions; payments to local contractors; and more than £350,000 of donations to local charities.  In addition, the project has paid more than £1.6m in business rates.

Pictured: Left to right…Peter Crone, director of Pentland Road Windfarm Limited and Donnie Morrison, chair of Western Isles Development Trust