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Community / Electric vehicle charger and solar panels installed as Northmavine looks to go greener

Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa/2.0)

NORTHMAVINE is feeling that little bit greener as a number of initiatives overseen by the local development company begin to chip away at the area’s carbon footprint.

A 22kW electric vehicle charging point has now been installed at the Hillswick/Ollaberry junction.

Next door the Bruckland recycling centre has a new array of solar panels, which supports the charging point.

Northmavine Community Development Company chair John-Alex Cromarty said: “The lack of charging points is a real constraint in the transition to electric vehicles in rural areas and this new dual post 22kW charging point at the centre of Northmavine allows both local folk and visitors to top up their charge.”

The community-owned Hillswick Shop is also seeing the benefits of a new array of solar panels, including reduced electricity bills.

Shop chair Iain Davidson said: “During the Covid lockdown the support shown by local folk, and the service provided by the shop staff has been incredible.

“The solar panels will help to keep the shop sustainable for the future. The shop directors are always looking for feedback from customers, so please get in touch to help us keep improving.”

The Hillswick Shop is also home to Northmavine Community Development Company’s Nortbikes project, which offers five electric bikes for hire.

The development company has also bought a new electric goods van, which replaces a diesel model.

It helps with goods collection and deliveries for community shops and local business.

Cromarty said: “It’s a big step for us, with electric goods vehicle ranges only now becoming usable for folk in peripheral areas like Northmavine.

“NCDC is all about sustainability, and this project follows on from past successes such as the wind turbines at the Ollaberry Industrial Estate and the food mile reduction of community polycrubs.

“We look forward to continuing to play our part in sustaining our community into the future.”

The development company said the projects have been made possible thanks to funding from the Scottish Government Islands Green Recovery programme.