Current Eilean Eisdeal Projects : Scottish Gas Green Streets

Project Update: Oct 2011

While of course it accepts the decision, Eilean Eisdeal is disappointed by the Reporter's determination to refuse its appeal against the Council's decision to disallow a small wind turbine on the south west corner of the island.

This turbine, inspired by the Green Streets programme, was designed to run in tandem with the solar panels and the heat pump, and so heat the hall and at the same time contribute to community wellbeing, carbon saving and energy efficiency ideals.

However, on the bright side as always, Eilean Eisdeal is greatly inspired and encouraged by the majority of the Reporter's findings about the Conservation Area, and her precise application of the relevant statutory tests. The decision has rejected all the more or less identical objections about noise, flicker and amenity which characterised the opposition to this worthwhile project. The Reporter has strongly endorsed the renewables message given out by the Scottish Government and by the local authority, and we can take heart from that. Eilean Eisdeal looks forward to working with the whole community towards finding a way to enhance sustainability and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, for the benefit of all the Island's residents and visitors alike.

Project Update: Aug 2011

The Solar PV and Heat Pump are due to be installed in the very near future and a reporter has been appointed to determine the outcome of the planning permission appeal for the wind turbine.

Scottish Gas continue to support the project to completion.

Project Update: June 2011

The directors were invited to Edinburgh to take part in the regional event for the Green Streets competition. There were three regional events across the UK to accommodate the 14 national projects and from these events 3 projects would go forward to London to compete for the final prize of a further £100,000 to spend on another renewable project for their community.

Each community had to make a presentation to a panel of judges and demonstrate how their project had best met the green streets criteria. We decided to make our presentation in typical Easdale style and do it as a panto! This was extremely well received by the judges and although we did not get further in the competition we were delighted that our innovative presentation stole the show!

Project Update: May 2011

A community consultation was held to discuss ideas for another community renewable energy project if we win the Green Streets final prize. Waseem led an interactive mind map which provided an array of ideas and the top ideas were discussed. The community are keen to use tide as a resource and it was decided that the directors would look into this idea further.

Project Update: April 2011

We are delighted to announce that planning permission was granted for the solar PV and heat pump for the hall however the directors were extremely disappointed that the wind turbine application was refused by the planning committee. This was difficult to comprehend when there had been nothing but positive signs from the planners. We remain committed to this innovative and exciting proposal to heat our fantastic community hall and intend to appeal to the Scottish Government.

Wood Pellet Stove Installed : April 2011

The first ever wood pellet stove/boiler has been installed on Easdale Island and its new owners are delighted with the results. This was always going to be a challenging part of the project due to the size of a typical Easdale cottage however good design skills and excellent workmanship by Mike and Iain and their team has created a successful solution. We look forward to more energy efficient appliances making an appearance on the island and hopefully we will eventually have an annual wood pellet day instead of coal.

Project Update: Feb 2011

The planning applications for the wind turbine, heat pump and solar PV are still under consideration with Argyll & Bute Council, however, the advertising consent required for the information sign outside the community hall has just been passed, which is a step in the right direction.

Our figures for all the different parts of the project have now been audited by an independent Quantity Surveyor and we can now begin to implement some of the work which does not involve planning.

Internal insulation in the museum loft space has now been completed and Tom Barbour, of Thermal Image UK, visited the island this week. External thermal imaging surveys on participating houses will provide a single page summary report for each and a full internal and external thermal imaging survey and comprehensive report plus air tightness test has been done for one cottage. The team feels that photographic evidence will be the best way to demonstrate to householders the problems we face insulating and heating our old cottages.

Work on draught proofing the buildings/households will commence soon along with the associated building works needed to be able to install the pellet stove/boiler in one of the households.

We have also been talking to graphic designers and sign makers regarding the information boards and are currently collating artwork and data for this.

We are also about to push the button on installing the island consumption meter and monitoring system which is funded through Climate Challenge Fund.

Wind Turbine Update: 11 Nov 2010

We have updated our plans to erect a small wind turbine on Easdale Island, funded by British Gas Green Streets, to produce electricity to help heat the Hall, and to produce a much needed revenue stream for the future.

Many islanders supported this project but some have expressed concern about the proposed location of the turbine. We understand these concerns and in response now propose to move the planned turbine further away from cottages. The turbine still has to be put into the prevailing south-westerly wind and in a position that makes sense as far as construction and cabling is concerned, but it can be moved further away from the nearest cottages. The new proposed turbine location to the south-west of the Stone Skimming Quarry would be over 105m from the nearest cottage.

Download the new location map (151kb).

This will require a new Planning Application that we will be submitting very soon. We hope that those of you who supported the idea of a turbine in principle but had concerns about the initial site, will now feel able to back this project which will be of major benefit to Easdale.

Community Energy Scotland has helped hundreds of communities across Scotland pursue their goals of financial independence and sustainability. Felix Wight is the Argyll Development Officer for CES and made the following comments regarding the Easdale project:

“The Easdale community is exceptionally lucky to have the offer of financial support from British Gas for the full costs of the installation, as any level of grant support for this sort of project is increasingly competitive. In light of the current strain on government finances, low running costs and independent income sources are vital to the long term sustainability of community facilities such as the Easdale hall. The savings on your electricity bill should be substantial, and thanks to the Feed in Tariff you will also receive a reliable income every year from the wind turbine and solar panels.”

We have also been in contact with Michael Cross on Eriskay and their committee provided us with a very detailed letter regarding their wind turbine and had this to say:

“So by using the turbine, we have saved money and continue to do so ... our bills are lower. It was a good decision and we have no regrets.”

British Gas have produced a summary of our project which can be downloaded in pdf format (21kb)

Download the wind turbine survey results (892kB).

First Consultation Meeting: 15 Jan 2010

The first community consultation meeting for The Scottish Gas Green Streets award to Eilean Eisdeal took place on Friday 15th January 2010 in Easdale Island Community Hall. Presentations from Jack Welch of Scottish Gas and Waseem Hussain of Argyle Architecture Ltd were followed by a mind mapping session led by Argyll and Bute MSP Jim Mather.

This is a very exciting opportunity for the island and the project has already had fantastic press coverage. Eilean Eisdeal entered the Scottish Gas Green Streets competition through an initial online application and were then shortlisted to make a presentation, at very short notice, at The Scottish Gas Energy Academy in Hamilton. The directors were delighted to secure £130,000 towards renewable energy solutions for the island. The presentation included a small 15kw wind turbine, a heat pump using sea water in one of the flooded quarries to heat the community hall and museum and investigating energy efficiency and solutions for the households on the island.

The meeting was well attended by members of the community and representatives from council departments, local media and other funders. Kevin Roxburgh, director for Scottish Gas and Carol Aitken, head of PR for Scottish Gas were also present. The mind mapping session allowed everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas to questions being asked. The results of this session are available for download in PDF format using the link below.

Download mind map (530kB)

Second Consultation Meeting: 31 Jan 2010

The second community consultation meeting held on 31st January was well attended. Mike MacKenzie and Waseem Hussain showcased the problems faced on Easdale heating and insulating our homes many of which are original quarriers cottages built over 200 years ago. Scottish Gas Project manager Jack Welch also spoke about the residential part of the project and volunteers were asked to sign up to the project if they wanted to participate in helping the community reduce their energy consumption.

Third Consultation Meeting: 11 April 2010

The third community consultation meeting was held on 11th April to discuss the proposals in greater depth. Mike MacKenzie made a short introduction summarising points raised in previous meetings and Easdale’s need for renewable energy solutions. Dr Arthur Butler from the Centre for Alternative Technology provided in depth information regarding wind turbines, solar and heat pumps with Rod MacNeal from a company called Solar and Wind on hand to answer questions about the proposed installations. Jack Welch presented the community with three proposed sites for a wind turbine and discussed points that would need to be addressed before deciding on a final site.

Videos of the presentation are available to view on our video page

Eilean Eisdeal - Easdale Island Community Hall, Easdale Island, by Oban, Argyll, Scotland PA34 4TB

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