Community / Yell wind farm profits to part-fund community energy grant scheme

NYDC chair says he hopes the ‘benefits gained from our wind turbines will ease the pressure a little bit’ on the North Yell community

The Garth wind farm. Photo: Shetland News

PEOPLE living in North Yell are being encouraged to apply for a £400 grant towards their energy bills – partly funded by income from the area’s community wind farm.

The North Yell Development Council initiative to help with the cost of living, which is thought to be the first of its kind in Shetland, has secured funding from the National Lottery.

But the other half will come from funds generated by the development council itself, boosted by income from its five-turbine Garth wind farm.

Meanwhile the North Yell Development Council is hosting a meeting tonight (Tuesday) in the Cullivoe Hall at 7pm to discuss the possibility of bringing the village’s shop into community ownership.

Community Enterprise has been appointed as consultants to assess the feasibility of this proposal and produce a business case.

The development council said properties eligible for the energy grant scheme are permanent domestic residences in North Yell – ruling out second and holiday homes.


The money can be applied towards the cost of electricity, heating oil, prepaid key meters, gas or coal.

North Yell Development Council chairperson Mark Lawson said: “North Yell Development Council are very pleased to announce our Energy Grant Scheme for those living in North Yell.

“With the ever-increasing financial pressures on households it is important that we support our community and use the benefits gained from our wind turbines to ease the pressure a little bit.

“Our turbines were a huge project which the community worked hard to establish. We now hope that every eligible household will apply for this grant and share in the rewards.”

Fuel poverty is a big issue for Shetland’s islands in particular, and it has been calculated that for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity used by a household on mainland Scotland, 1.71MWh is used in North Yell.

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Application forms for the grant can be accessed online and have to be returned by 30 June.

Paper copies will be available at the RS Henderson shop in Cullivoe, Keep Yell Warm events at the Cullivoe Hall on Tuesdays, or by contacting NYDC staff at grants@northyell.co.uk or 07498564563.

The Garth wind farm was launched by the development group in 2017, with profits put back into the wind farm.

A significant sum has been invested in a new marina and upgraded business park not too far from the wind farm, whilst it has also provided small grants for the likes of the local playgroup and Up Helly Aa.

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