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Community Land Scotland

Urras Energy Strides Ahead

    Press Release from Urras Energy Society 14.04.2015

    Hot on the heels of its successful community share offer, Urras Energy Society has raced ahead with site preparation works for its two new wind turbines at Baile an Truiseil on the west side of Lewis. Foundation build for the new turbines is due to get underway imminently.

    Despite the poor recent weather, the civil engineering contractor, Borve-based North West Aggregates, has risen to the challenge and great progress has been achieved in forming the access and hardstanding structure for one of the turbines located close to Loch Sminig. The contractor has now moved to the final site, close to the existing turbine, and is well underway with similar works.

    North West Aggregates will now be joined on site by a new contractor that will construct the two turbine foundations for Enercon, the turbine supplier. The foundation build will commence imminently and this next stage is expected to complete by late May, subject to weather and delivery of materials. Electrical cabling works are scheduled to commence in June and last for six weeks, to ensure that an overlap with the turbine installation team through July can be achieved.

    Agnes Rennie, founder Member of Urras Energy, commented : “It’s imperative that speedy progress is made in the construction process to achieve our objectives and we are making very good headway so far. We are excited to now be at the stage where the turbine foundations are going to start emerging out of the ground in the next few weeks, bringing us ever closer to the turbines arriving in the middle of the year.”

    Galson Estate was subject to a community buy-out which was completed in January 2007. The wind turbine investment was part of the proposals for the buy-out which received 85% support in a 2005 community ballot.

    The wind turbines will be built, owned and operated by Galson Energy as a subsidiary of Urras Energy. Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn as community landowner will receive net profits to invest locally. Six community organisations within Galson Estate have already received support.

    The second phase of two turbines on Galson Estate will cost £2.8m+VAT. A commercial bank loan will be required to supplement the £705,800 funds raised recently through a community share offer.

    As one turbine has been installed, the main permissions, including grid agreements, are in place. For the next phase, just the specific construction details for the two turbines have to be approved by the local authority.

    Civils engineering works commenced on the 23rd of February and electrical are due to start in June. Enercon will be delivering the turbines at the end of June and Turbine installation is due to commence early July.