West Harris and Barvas Local Energy Supply

Project Lead: West Harris Renewables Limited

Award Amount: £30,618.00

Status: Complete

Area: Western Isles

Three methods of connecting local renewable energy generation with local demand were investigated – Sleeving, Virtual Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) and On-site Supply. The first two models were assessed for an existing community turbine matched with a nearby salmon hatchery in West Harris; the third for an existing salmon hatchery in Barvas matched with a proposed community-owned wind turbine. The opportunities, risks and barriers associated with each were looked at, as well as the market for suppliers. A cost-benefit analysis was also carried out; the results are contained within the project report.

It was decided that, whilst sleeving is technically feasible, it is unlikely to bring any tangible benefit to either party for this scale of generation and demand. The Virtual MPAN model could lead to economic benefits for both the generator and the demand, and it is proposed that the community group continue discussions on this basis. On-site supply in Barvas may be a model worth pursuing, but there are a number of uncertainties surrounding its viability, such as obtaining funding. The grid constraints currently in place in the Western Isles are also a major barrier to connecting new renewable energy projects.