NEWS: Wind turbines profitable for islanders
The wind farm on the community-owned island of Gigha made a £100,000 profit following their first full year in operation. The money will be used to start refurbishing housing on the island and start other renewable energy projects. (Via the West Highland Free Press, although not on their website.)
There are many proposals for wind farms throughout rural Scotland at the moment, stirring up lots of controversy and attracting criticism from a variety of different wildlife and heritage organisations. The Gigha scheme shows that there is more to be gained from wind farms than just energy, when done right, they can also help a community. There's currently a big argument on Skye about a wind farm in Edinbane, it seems to have been going on a fair few years with most of the locals (scroll down to see a letter about this) being in favour of it as it will bring additional funding into a remote area. Many people (not necessarily local) are against it and there is a big campaign against them.
I personally would much rather see more wind turbines across the hills than feel the chill I get on passing Torness nuclear power station. Yes, I don't have one on my doorstep but with long-term plans to relocate north I may well do one day. As my granny said when some turbines were put up a few miles from her home in Yorkshire, 'I think they're really lovely, they have a positive feel about them'.
More information on renewable energy in Scotland can be found at Scottish Renewables.