Garve and District Community Energy
Garve and District Community Energy, in Wester Ross, was set up by a small group of local people to explore new opportunities to develop community energy projects in the area. The group was formed with the help of our charity, Community Energy Scotland, and the work is funded by the Lochluichart Community Trust.
We meet up with the Steering Group around once a month to discuss community energy opportunities in the area.
Much of the discussion focusses on how funds from nearby commercial wind farms could be used to maximise the benefit to the local community through community energy development projects.
What exactly is a community energy project?
Essentially a community energy project is any energy project which is both developed by, and for the benefit of, that local community. For example, many communities we have supported across Scotland have developed their own wind turbine or hydro-electric scheme, which are now delivering a regular long-term income and low-carbon energy to those local communities. Alternatively, a community energy project could provide grants to help local residents to install energy efficiency measures and renewable energy in their homes. Whatever the project, community energy is all about addressing the specific challenges that a community faces, be that unemployment, inequality, education, lack of affordable housing, transport or any other challenging issue.
Project work streams
In the case of Garve and District Community Energy, the three work strands they are taking forward are as follows:
1. Garve and District Warmer Homes Schemes. The group can offer FREE Home Energy visits to any resident within the Garve and District Area. To sign up for a free Home Energy visit or to ask any questions about the scheme, please contact us on 01463 417104.
2. Hydro feasibility - We are currently supporting Garve and District Community Energy group to explore opportunities for the community to develop a hydro-electric scheme in the area. This scheme may be able to generate a long-term income for the benefit of the community.
3. Develop the local Community Energy Group
The local steering group is currently not formally constituted as an organisation. However once the outcome from the ongoing Community Needs Survey (being carried out by another organisation) is known, the steering group will discuss and decide on whether they wish to become incorporated.
Who is involved in Garve and District Community Energy?
The founding members of the local group Garve and District Community Energy are John Bedwell, John Fenwick, Sue Tarr and Laura McWhinney. They have recently been joined by other community members and hope to grow membership of the group.
Brad Doswell of Community Energy Scotland is our development officer working to support the group and is assisted by Marion O'Hara, Company Secretary, who reports progress back to the funder, Lochluichart Community Trust.
If any residents living in the Garve and District area wish to join Garve and District Community Energy, please contact us or one of the steering group.
Download the Project Report and Presentation
You can download the final project report here and presentation here. These documents explain what has happened over the course of the project between November 2015 and July 2016. We also make a number of recomendations on how we think local community energy projects could be taken forward by the Garve and District community in the future.