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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 00:31 GMT
Islanders get 24-hour green power
Isle of Eigg. Pic by James Gray
The island has previously run on diesel and hydro schemes

A renewable energy supply giving the Isle of Eigg power 24-hours-a-day has come online for the first time.

The 1.6m system for the island in the Small Isles between Skye and the Ardnamurchan peninsula uses a mix of hydro, wind and solar power.

It has been designed to generate more than 95% of Eigg's annual energy demand and is backed up by a battery storage system and two diesel generators.

Residents have previously relied on diesel generators and hydro schemes.

The dream of green power has taken 10 years to realise.

The Eigg Electric team has done an excellent job on behalf of the resilient Eigg community
John Hutchison
Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust

A total of 45 households, 20 businesses and six community buildings on the island are linked together by six miles of buried cable that forms a high voltage network.

John Booth, director of Eigg Electric, who has been the co-ordinator of the project, said it was one of the achievements following a community buy-out of the isle in 1997.

Eigg Electric commissioned Synergie Scotland to manage the whole project in August 2005.

Ian MacGillivray, managing director of Synergie Scotland, said the company was delighted to be involved with a "unique and technically challenging project".

The project design and some enabling works were carried out during 2006 and early 2007, before the main design and build contract was awarded to Scottish Hydro Contracting in April 2007.

John Hutchison, chairman of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, said: "The Eigg Electric team has done an excellent job on behalf of the resilient Eigg community."

The trust raised 45,000 for the project and the islanders brought in a further 30,000.

Funding also came from Europe, the Big Lottery Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company, the Scottish Government and Highland Council.

SEE ALSO
Electric dreams
31 Jan 08 |  Magazine
Islanders look to constant power
08 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Isle celebrates independence day
12 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Eigg powers on with energy scheme
19 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Island energised by lottery cash
16 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Farewell to islands' flit boats
31 Aug 04 |  Scotland

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