ALIEnergy, Argyll, UK
Sustainable energy for remote Scottish communities
‘ALI’ stands for ‘Argyll, Lomond and the Isles’: a vast landscape of scattered, mainly rural communities. Thanks to ALIEnergy’s small, highly committed team, the communities now boast an array of energy innovations, including over 50 biomass heating schemes, nine micro hydro plants and ten heat pumps.
But perhaps the most spectacular success has been in community wind schemes. The first scheme is known locally as the ‘Dancing Ladies’ on the Isle of Gigha. Its three 225 kW wind turbines provide about three quarters of the island's electricity, setting a promising example for other island communities. Most residents were cautious about the wind farm to start with, but became enthusiastic when they saw similar projects in Ireland, and realised the economic potential. When it came to the planning stage, the scheme was unopposed. By 2010, ALIEnergy had been involved with a further four community wind schemes.