Local energy projects receive £600k

Grants will support new ideas in local renewables

Seventeen projects across Scotland have been offered a share in grant funding of over £600k of funds from the Scottish Government. These projects will investigate and develop approaches which link local energy generation with local energy demand, using innovative distribution and storage solutions.

Local Energy Scotland, who manage the Community And Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) on behalf of the Scottish Government, have awarded the funding through a call for innovative local energy projects under the CARES Infrastructure and Innovation Fund (IIF).

Local energy projects are those which seek to develop low-carbon energy solutions for communities. Currently these projects can face a range of technical and financial barriers such as the national electricity grid reaching capacity in many areas. This means that renewable energy generation cannot be exported and revenue cannot be generated. These local energy projects look at ways of overcoming such site-specific issues, by producing innovative new models of community energy.  Funding has previously been awarded to 41 such projects across Scotland, from the central belt to the Outer Hebrides.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “It is encouraging to see communities, academia, companies and the public sector working together to ensure a sustainable energy future for local areas across the country - from the Western Isles, Moray and the Highlands in the north to North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway in the south west of Scotland. 

“Scotland is making great progress in renewable energy with the equivalent of 56.7% of gross electricity consumption coming from renewables in 2015. From energy storage to renewable heat and smart grids, this funding will help to unlock new forms of renewable energy at a local level.

“A draft of our new Energy Strategy, which will be published early next year, will build on this approach, promoting community ownership and involvement in renewable energy and demonstrating how we will capitalise on the social, economic and environmental benefits of the transition to a low carbon economy. This will form our strategic response to the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector and articulate our long term vision for energy in Scotland out to 2050 as well as inform the Climate Change Plan to meet our climate change targets out to 2032.”

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland manager, said: “Local Energy Scotland is delighted to be able to provide support to these innovative and aspirational projects. 

“It is always inspiring to see the creativity and ambition of communities to overcome challenges and create local solutions. We are looking forward to working with the project teams to see these ground-breaking ideas become reality.

 “It’s exciting to think that these projects have the potential to shape the future of Scotland’s approach to energy and act as demonstrators for other communities.”

The projects are now underway and will share their findings over the coming months.


 Braemar Community Hydro Scheme

Community Hydro Scheme in Braemar


The full list of projects in receipt of awards is as follows:

University of Strathclyde

Integration of a 25 kW/50 kWh zinc-bromine battery

 £    70,000.00

Knoydart Renewables Ltd

Electrical Energy Storage for Knoydart

 £    69,995.00

Arran Community Energy

Arran Community Energy IIF

 £    21,000.00

Machrihanish Airbase Community Company

Machrihanish Solar PV and smart grid energy management system

 £    29,000.00

Findhorn Foundation College

Heat Pump and Biomass District Heating

 £    30,000.00

University of Strathclyde/Veitch Cooper Ltd


 £    28,000.00

University of Strathclyde/GAIA Wind

University of Strathclyde & GAIA Wind IIF

 £    55,600.00

Storas Uibhist Ltd

South Uist Estate Energy Optiions

 £    35,000.00

Carsphairn Community Council 

Carsphairn Community Energy Storage Scheme (CCESS)

 £    60,000.00

West Harris Renewables Limited

West Harris and Barvas Local Supply

 £    30,618.00

Pairc Trust 

Energy Options for Habost Business Units

 £    25,000.00

South West Mull & Iona Development (SWMID)

Heat From the Sound

 £    33,329.00

Community Energy Scotland

Community Micro-grid Learning Resource

 £    12,540.00

Upper Eskdale Development Group (UEDG)

Community Share IIF

 £    32,190.00

North Uist Development Company

Lochmaddy Warmth from Water Feasibility Study

 £    18,805.00

Huntly & District Development Trust

Greenmyres Energy Hub

 £    16,275.00

Fife Council

Resource Efficient Solutions IIF

 £    58,305.00



For more information about the fund: /funding-resources/funding/applying-to-cares/infrastructure-and-innovation-fund/

Scotland is making great progress in renewable energy with the equivalent of 56.7% of gross electricity consumption coming from renewables in 2015.