New fundraising campaign launches by Ise of Raasay residents for energy efficiency projects

Residents of the Isle of Raasay have launched a fundraising campaign to build two new community hydroelectric schemes that will generate enough green energy to power all their homes and provide income for local projects.

The residents are looking to raise £650,000 through a share offer to develop the renewables projects, which will together provide 520,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy and save 127 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Raasay Community Renewables, set up in September 2020, has already raised more than £300,000 of grant funding but further capital is needed to bring the initiative to completion.

The new share offer, which went live this week, has already raised £22,900 towards the target, The Scotsman reports.

Estimates suggest the two run-of-river schemes–at In verarish Burn and Mine Burn – will generate an annual surplus of around £6,000 from 2024, rising each year to around £28,000 in 2031 and beyond, which will be used to support community and environmental projects.

The team will work with residents to identify local uses for any electricity that cannot be exported to the national grid. Initially, this will provide energy to dry wood, and there are plans to provide charging points for electric vehicles.

It is hoped that the new hydro schemes will provide both environmentally sustainable power and long-term financial resilience for the island, funding projects that will improve residents’ lives.

Ross Gillies, from Ra a say Community Renewables, said: “The community share offer is a fantastic opportunity to invest in social and environmental causes and see a financial return for your support in the years to come.

“The focus will be on ensuring that the funds are distributed in a way that meets the community’s needs, wants and priorities, particularly with regard to supporting environmentally beneficial projects.”

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, added: “I hope there will be widespread interest and the community will be able to reach their funding target in time.”

More information about the Raasay community hydro share offe can be found on the Crowdfunder website.

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