Groups in Portobello and Leith were celebrating yesterday (Saturday) as their renewable energy project won the public vote in the Energyshare.com contest.
The project, a collaboration between neighbouring community groups Pedal – Portobello Transition Town and Greener Leith, aims to build a community-owned wind turbine on the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Site in Edinburgh.
The project won the online Energyshare.com vote, beating off competition from nearly 1,000 other community renewables projects from around the UK. They are awarded funding to complete feasibility work on the wind turbine, which is expected to go to planning permission during 2012.
The Energyshare.com contest awards a total of £500,000 to community renewables projects on the basis of online votes.
Eva Schonveld, Chair of PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town said, “We’re delighted to have won so much support for the project, and would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us. The funding is very welcome and will allow us to complete the final stage of feasibility work but just as valuable is the massive support from local people that this vote represents.”
Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Greener Leith said, “A big thank you to everyone who voted online, tweeted, facebooked, blogged and badgered their friends and colleagues to support the project. We’re delighted to be the most popular project in the Energyshare.com contest, but the turbine is not built yet. We still have a number of hurdles to overcome, but this vote gives a clear message that the project has widespread support, for which we are extremely grateful.”
Story from Greener Leith.
And some background information from the EnergyShare profile:
Project Update, 11th November
We have just updated our Frequently Asked Questions that tell you more about what stage the project is at. The FAQs are available on the Pedal and Greener Leith websites:
Initial feasibility work is now complete. The results show that our chosen site may be the best location in Edinburgh for a large wind turbine. We have also completed 3 months' wind resource monitoring, a full noise imapct assessment and 6 months of bird surveys.
Now we're looking for funds to carry out further studies (for example further bird studies, more wind monitoring, and landscape studies) and submit planning and grid connection applications. We have applied to Energyshare for funding to cover part of the costs of this work (the rest is being funded through a loan from the Scottish Government) plus a grid deposit, site investigations (boreholes) and design of turbine foundations.
We are also negotiating legal agreements with the site owner, Scottish Water, and the operator, Stirling Water, to enable the project to be hosted at the Seafield site. We anticipate these will be concluded soon.
Our Vision and Aims
In 2010, two community-led not-for-private-profit groups, PEDAL (Portobello Transition Town) and Greener Leith, started working together to explore the feasibility of a wind turbine on land at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works, Marine Esplanade, Edinburgh. If we are successful, this will be the first community-owned large scale wind project in a UK city.
The aims of the project are to:
- Generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 300-1300 homes each year;
- Reduce CO2 equivalent emmissions from electricity generation by between 400 and 2000 tonnes per year (dependent on actual wind resource and capacity of turbine installed) over the lifetime of the installation (25 years);
- Generate an independent income stream that will be distributed to local not-for-private-profit groups for projects focussed on sustainable development. The funds will be disbursed on an open, transparent and inclusive basis.
- Increase local awareness of issues relating to energy and the potential for generating clean energy using local renewable resources, and provide learning and inspiration for other communities to undertake similar projects;
- Enable school pupils to learn more about sustainable energy by using the wind turbine as a teaching tool within the curriculum. We have strong links with local primary and secondary schools.
Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project has the potential to make a big difference to carbon emissions, generate funding for local sustainable development projects, and provide education and inspiration to many others around energy issues right on the coast of Scotland's capital city!