Leading independent Scottish renewables developer GreenPower  has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first major wind farm project, Carraig Gheal , in North Argyll. The 46MW project, which was completed in October 2013, and supplies the equivalent of 32,000 households in Scotland with clean energy every year.
Carraig Gheal Wind Farm has generated well over a million megawatt hours of green electricity over the last decade – enough to boil a kettle 12 billion times, or enough to drive a Tesla Model 3 to the moon and back over 12,000 times. This success of the project has inspired GreenPower to propose establishing a renewable energy hub in the area, which will include battery storage and the generation of green hydrogen. The new Argyll Hydrogen Hub has just been submitted to the council for planning permission and will provide clean green hydrogen for heavy transport and other uses.
The Carraig Gheal Wind Community Benefit Fund, which receives contributions from GreenPower twice a year, awards grants up to £500 to individuals and up £10,000 to constituted groups, benefitting a wide range of local projects. One of these, the Kilmore and Kilbride Village Hall has received nearly £42,000 in grants from the Fund over the years, supporting a kitchen refurbishment, helping to build an extension, and enabling £145,000 in matched funding from other sources . The Fund has also supported the Kilchrenan Village Hall with £28,000 for improvements.
Construction of the project involved contracts to local companies like McNaughtons, A&L McCrae, Wind Towers and is supported by a turbine maintenance team based in Oban and Kintyre.
Over the ten years that Carraig Gheal has been operational, around £500,000 has been earmarked for community projects, and the annual contribution will rise significantly as the proposed sister project to the wind farm comes online. GreenPower has, since 2000, secured consent for more than 260MW of renewable capacity, covering wind, solar and hydro power. These existing projects save an estimated 250,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The 35km access road built by GreenPower in partnership with government and Argyll and Bute Council was used to carry major components to the Carraig Gheal Wind Farm, takes heavy forestry transport off the public roads.
GreenPower CEO Rob Forrest said:
“Carraig Gheal was GreenPower’s rite of passage, a landmark project in Europe at the time, and the foundation for all our work since. We learnt so much through the process, and that knowledge is now being applied across Scotland.
“I particularly wish to thank the local groups we’ve worked with at Carraig Gheal, who have challenged us, supported us, and helped us ensure the community gets real lasting benefits from this project. They have been an inspiration, and that work has helped us refine this vital part of our work elsewhere.
“With our proposed sister project nearby and plans for green hydrogen and low carbon transport around Oban and the surrounding region we are shaping a real renewables hub for North Argyll.”
- For more information about the company, see: https://greenpowerinternational.com/
- Carraig Gheal is located 8km west of Kilchrenan, to the north-west of Loch Awe. For more information on the project, please see: https://www.carraigghealwindfarm.co.uk/
- With excellent power grid and access in close proximity, GreenPower has also announced plans for a sister project to Carraig Gheal, just on the other side of an adjacent hydro dam, on a site known as Barachander which will use modern turbines, with each single turbine generating more power than two Carraig Gheal turbines.
- A summary document of feedback from locally funded groups and projects is available here.
For more information contact:
George Baxter 07717 817 939