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Fair Isle electricity project partners win award

The new Fair Isle Electricity Scheme.

THE PROJECT to bring guaranteed 24-hour electricity to Fair Isle has won a regional award.

It bagged the best public sector collaboration prize at the Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards in Inverness on Thursday.

The project, which was switched on last year, brought together solar and wind power in addition to battery storage.

It involved a range of partners, with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Shetland Islands Council and Scottish Water the public organisations recognised by the award.

The council said it was “pleased to provide a portion of the funding to finally bring 24 hour electricity to the Fair Isle community”.

The three-mile long island had used a combination of wind and diesel power since the 1980s, but it had been lights out between 11.30pm and 7.30am on nights when wind turbines weren’t operating.

The two existing turbines had also suffered technical problems, with one ultimately shutting off completely, while there was no capacity for any new customers.

The new energy system, which also extended a high voltage network across the remote island, is run by the Fair Isle Electricity Company.