Portobello gets £72,000 for Community Energy Project

 Portobello’s plans to produce and sell its own green electricity have taken a step forward with the announcement of a £72,000  grant.

The  award from the Scottish Government’s Communities and Renewable Energy Scotland scheme is to pay for legal and planning costs in establishing a community owned wind turbine on the Promenade.

The wind turbine would be the first commercial-scale community power project in any Scottish city. It is being run by PEDAL –> Portobello Transition Town, a community group which seeks to promote local action on climate change by working with people in Portobello to develop environmentally-friendly goods and services.

How the turbine could look viewed from the foot of Pipe Lane.

When operational, the Seafield turbine will generate electricity for homes and businesses in the east of Edinburgh.

Project Manager Tom Black said “If it does go ahead, it could bring real benefits by reducing carbon emissions, bringing in money that would be made available for local projects, and raising awareness of the renewable energy resources that Edinburgh has on it’s doorstep.”

Today’s award will enable PEDAL to carry out a range of technical studies and seek planning permission, plus legal agreements with landowners.

The grant comes from the Communities and Renewable Energy Scotland (CARES) scheme, which is administered by national charity Community Energy Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. The CARES scheme offers grants and technical advice to community organisations to help with the installation of a variety of renewable energy technologies.

The turbine being considered would be 47.5 metres from the base to the tip of the blade. If planning permission is granted, PEDAL will seek a bank loan to meet the £470,000 costs involved in buying and constructing the turbine.

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4 thoughts on “Portobello gets £72,000 for Community Energy Project

  1. Fay Young July 16, 2010 / 12:16 pm

    This is great news – I don’t live in Portobello but I am passionately in favour of community wind farm projects. There is scope for many more so I wish you all the best in demonstrating the great social and environmental benefits of a well-planned, well-located, financially-sustainable, community wind turbine.

    As you say Eigg is a great example of these benefits. So is Gigha where the three ‘Dancing Ladies’ are generating so much energy the community enterprise is able to sell power to the grid, pay off loans, renovate old houses and build new homes with the profits. The island population has increased and there are more children in the school.

    Portobello could reap similar benefits in an urban environment. Comments on the Evening News story are predictably negative but it sounds as if you won’t let that put you off blazing a trail for an inspirational project. Very best of luck!

    PS Social Investment Scotland contributed £148,000 to the loan needed for Gigha’s windmills.

  2. Peter McColl July 16, 2010 / 12:26 pm

    Thanks for that Fay. It’s very exciting.

    I’m hoping that we can deliver similar benefits to the people of Portobello as the dancing ladies have in Gigha.

    We might well be chapping Social Investment Scotland for some money…

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