Tag Archives: TREL

Windfall Fund

tilleyOn Monday 13 December TREL was delighted to make its first transfer of money generated by Tilley to the Trust. A cheque for £10,000 has been formally handed to the Trust. Further transfers will be made in 2011.

Over the life of the turbine, TREL will transfer all its available net income to the Trust after meeting its operating costs, including Bank repayments and other reserves. The money is held by the Trust in a ring-fenced bank account at RBS and can only be used for the Windfall Fund and is not used for staff or office costs.

There will be an open day on Saturday January 29 at An Talla to launch the Windfall Fund. The day will probably start at 1pm and finish about 4.30pm and refreshments will be served all afternoon. The application process, eligibility, how applications will be scrutinised and the selection criteria will be explained. Application forms and guidance notes will be available on the day and afterwards from the Trust office and online at the Trust’s website. The deadline for applications for the first round of awards is 31 March 2011. There will be further application rounds later in the year. For 2011, the amount of each grant awarded will be limited to a maximum of £1,000.

Once again TREL and the Trust would like to thank the Co-operative Bank and the BIG Lottery Fund for their support. Lynne, Tiree’s Local Development Officer, will also be explaining at the Open Day the work she is doing on updating the Community Development Plan and will be asking what projects you would like to see developed and how.


Ian Tainsh has stepped down from the Board of TREL after nearly 5 years of unstinting unpaid voluntary work. TREL, the Trust and the Tiree Community owe Ian a huge debt of gratitude for the determination and incredible amount of work he has put into making TREL a success and ensuring Tilley is here on the Island and generating money for all of us. We will miss not only his technical accounting and governance help but also his deadpan comments and turn of phrase. We wish Ian well and a well-deserved rest.

Tiree Trust Update

Trust directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Wright as our new Finance and Governance officer. Andy’s roots are on Tiree, and he is looking forward to moving here with his wife Hannah and 12 week old baby daughter. Andy’s post, like Ann’s post as development manager, is funded by the Big Lottery as part of the Harvesting the Wind Award the Community received in 2008 (Sophie’s position is very generously funded by the Robertson Trust, while Lynne’s post is funded by HIE).


November was another very good month for Tilley, generating 232 MWh, which takes the total for the year to date to over 2100 MWh, still ahead of our projections. We will be holding a public open day/evening in mid or late Jan to launch the Windfall Fund. This will also be an opportunity for you to tell Lynne what you want to be included in the new Community Development Plan. We are delighted that TREL has received the 2010 Scottish Renewable Energy Award for Best Community Initiative. This was for “an initiative that has been lead and developed by a community and which supports renewables development in Scotland”. We beat a very strong field of candidates including projects lead by Balfour Beattie and NPower. We should all be very proud that TREL voluntary directors have got national recognition for all the hard work they put into making Tilley such a success as a beacon not just for Tiree but for other communities.


This week we have had the final night of Ch@ Room. We had a Christmas themed evening with games and Christmas challenges. We also served tasty turkey and cranberry toasties! I managed to secure a much appreciated grant of £300 from ACHA. The young people also raised £60 at the craft fair. This money will be used for new equipment for the Ch@ Room. Ch@ Room will commence again in January 2011. Next Wednesday (8th) is the final night of Youth Club. The youth Club is having a snowman drive and a fantastic Raffle. All funds raised are for youth Club! Show your support by coming along and joining in the fun. For more information or to volunteer for any of the youth groups on the island don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at sophie@tireetrust.org.uk


At the time of writing the Tiree Array developers, Scottish Power Renewables, were due on Tiree for a meeting with the Trust. We will update you on anything new we have learned from that meeting. Also at the time of writing, Lloyd Gudgeon was due to attend a meeting in Glasgow with the Scottish Government, The Crown Estate, Argyll & Bute Council and SPR, to formally demand that the Tiree Community becomes part of the process which directs the design of the Array and considers whether or not it should receive permission to go ahead. We will update you on the outcomes of that meeting. Meanwhile on Tiree, the Forum continues to put together a picture of the likely impact of the Array, should it go ahead. To help with this, Sam Bouchnak has joined the team. He will be concentrating on providing the Forum with support in the run up to a public presentation in February. There is another survey out there trying to get your opinions on what the Array might mean for us. This survey is being run by Argyll Renewable Communities, which is made up of the communities of Tiree, Islay and Kintyre, all of which are facing potentially close offshore windfarms. The survey can be found at
and you can find more details on a separate article in this paper. We want to collect as many responses as possible so that when we talk to government about our concerns we can not be accused of representing only a small number of local people or specialist interests. Please do take 10 minutes to fill out the questionnaire. Paper versions are available from the office.

Tiree Community Trust Update

“These are exciting and challenging times for the Trust and Tiree”

The Trust welcomes two new members of staff this month. The posts attracted a lot of interest and there was strong competition for both positions.

Ann Kirby will be taking over as Trust Development Manager and Lynne MacKinnon as Local Development Officer. Lloyd Gudgeon is moving into a new role for the Trust as its Strategic Development Liaison Officer. Lloyd will now concentrate entirely on lobbying with government, the Council and SPR to ensure that Tiree’s needs and concerns are central to any development of the Tiree Array. This is a separate post from the one advertised by SPR in the last issue of An Tirisdeach. Trish O’Neil continues as Finance and Governance Officer and Sophie Isaacson as Youth Worker.

These are exciting and challenging times for the Trust and Tiree and we are fortunate to have such a strong team on board. Ann has been a director of TREL since 2006 as well as being a co-opted director of the Trust. She was instrumental in delivering Tilley, the community wind turbine for Tiree. She is a Chartered Accountant, qualified for over 20 years, as well as Vice Chair of Community Energy Scotland. Ann’s home number at Balemartine is 755. Lynne was born and brought up on Tiree and has been looking for the right opportunity to come back to live on Tiree. Her work leaves her job as In Flight Trainer for Loganair to return home. Lynne sees this role as an exciting opportunity to be a part of developing the future of the Island and working within the community.

All staff can be contacted on the office number 220074 or by email tireetrust{@}tireebroadband.com

Turbine update

September was a cracking month and Tilley produced 334 MWh, 40% over the prediction for the month. This was also after nearly 5 days of down time because of a technical issue, scheduled maintenance and training. This takes us 244 MWh above the expected output for the period 27 March to end of September, which gives us a cushion to cover unexpected downtime or calm periods.

October has started even better: 114 MWh in the first 5 and half days. Tuesday 5th was a red letter day, generating over 22 MWh. The wind hit 32 m/s or 70 mph at 4.20pm with an average speed of 19 m/s (43 mph) for the whole day! This week is Wave Classic so we all know what that means, flat calm.

We are still waiting for the first Feed in Tariff (FiT) payments to come through but these are expected shortly. These payments are guaranteed for the next 20 years and are based on how much Tilley produces each quarter. We also receive payment for the electricity exported to the Grid. Once these payments start to come in and the initial costs are covered, TREL hopes to be able to make its first payment to the Trust before the end of the year.

The Trust will be launching the Windfall Fund in the next few weeks. Please look out for more information in An Tirisdeach and posters around the Island.


The Trust’s website is being updated with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), which we hope will help to keep people informed. There should also be the ARC monthly reports in full, along with records of the Tiree Array Forum meetings.

Youth Worker

Sophie has started the Duke of Edinburgh award group Monday 3.30pm at the school. There are already 10 keen members who are planning what to do for their bronze award. After the holidays this is moving to Wednesday evening.

The P1-4 Saturday morning club has been advertised and we’re still looking for a few more volunteers to commit to helping out. We really do need a couple more for this to go ahead. Please get in touch if you can help.

Sophie is also investigating the possibility of setting up a Sailing Club. We would like to know how many young people on the Island are interested in learning how to sail and taking part in races or sailing activities.

Tiree Array

This has been a busy time. The date for SPR to submit its detailed plans is getting ever nearer: they hope to be ready to ask for planning permission in early 2012.

We are concentrating our efforts on lobbying to be included in the planning process so we can influence decisions and so try to ensure that Tiree’s interests are covered.

SPR recently held public information days on Coll and Tiree. The event here on 23rd September was well attended, SPR estimate over 70 people during the day. They’ve reported they felt the day was useful, with lots of queries and general discussion from people who have previously been unable to attend meetings or join the Forum.

We are encouraging SPR to hold more of these days as soon as more information is available. Whilst the project is by no means certain to go ahead, with or without the Community’s support, these events are good opportunities to come along and talk directly to the people involved.


The Tiree Array Forum has been working hard to uncover as much information as possible about offshore windfarms and their impacts on local communities. This information is fed back to the Trust. We still have very little detailed information about what the Tiree Array will look like or its impact upon us, but we hope that the work of the Forum will go some way towards identifying the likely outcomes.


Argyll Renewable Communities (ARC) has responded to the SPR scoping document, raising a number of the concerns that the Trust raised in its own response.
In addition, ARC has written to the Scottish Government with concerns over its draft plan for development of offshore waters.

ARC is currently working on collecting case study information from 12 offshore sites in order to draw a picture of what happens elsewhere. We will be able to use this information when they have completed the work. ARC will meet with senior officials in Argyll & Bute Council to push for communities’ involvement in the planning process around the Array developments.

Tilley officially declared open


After five long, turbulent and emotional years Saturday saw the official “opening” of Tilley, Tiree’s Community Turbine.

The project has suffered many delays and setbacks, weather has intervened, ferries been cancelled, equipment developed faults and a mass of paperwork and forms had to be completed and submitted to various agencies. The fact that Tilley has been built at all is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of many people, particularly the TREL directors and their supporters.

Costing approximately £2.1million and at a height of 75m to the tip of her blades, Tilley is an Enercon E-44 model, specially designed to be located in areas of high winds and she should have a life span of 20 years – all the while generating an income for the Tiree Community.

In the first hour of operation Tilley produced and exported to the grid 0.283mwh of energy. Putting that into terms that we can relate to it means we could boil 1886 kettles making 11,316 cups of tea!


As the coach carrying the members of TREL, the Trust, and representatives from The Co-operative bank, Enercon, CalMac, TC Young Solicitors, Community Energy Scotland and our meteorology adviser arrived, it was greeted by three young ladies (Mhairi MacKinnon, Fiona MacKinnon and Eilidh MacFadyen) playing the pipes, and an impressive crowd of locals who had turned out on a grey afternoon to witness this historical event.

Bruce Kemp, Chair or TREL made a brief speech and Rev. Peter Williams gave a Blessing of thanks for the harnessing of God given Natural resources and asking that the community spirit would enable us all to be good stewards of the rewards of the turbine and that these would be spent in a way honourable to God and for the good of the community.


In true spirit of the occasion tradition was cast aside as Tish MacKinnon, Chair of the Trust, cut a green ribbon and to the applause of the assembled crowd Tilley was officially declared open.

An invitation was extended to those who wished to meet at An Talla where Champagne was served along with tea, coffee and a truly wonderful selection of cakes.

Following a quick tidy up of the hall the celebrations continued in the evening with a well attended Family Dance, the music was provided by some of the many talented Tiree musicians and a raffle was held with a generous amount of prizes donated by individuals and local businesses.

Now we should start thinking about the future, as Tish said before cutting the ribbon “each time the blades turn Tilley is generating an income for the Island”. Maybe not in the early years but as time goes on and the outstanding loans reduce there will be money available for spending on projects to benefit the community.

How the money from the Tiree Windfall Fund should be used will be decided by the Trust and they would like to know your views on this and they will be holding a further meeting to explain more about how the Fund might be operated, to which everyone is invited.

More detailed information about Tilley is available free from the Trust.

A word from Bruce

I would like to say a very big thank you to Liz Lapsley, Lloyd Gudgeon, all of the Trust directors who helped to organise the official opening of Tilley the turbine on Saturday and to everybody who turned out to support it, including representatives from Enercon, the Co-op Bank, CES, Argyll Estates, SNH and TC Young who all helped us along the way and came to join in the celebrations.

It was an excellent day and a fun evening of music and dance highlighting the ever-present young musical talent on Tiree.

There are many ways to look at this turbine project. You can see it as a community effort to reduce our carbon imprint, and it will certainly do that. Over an average year the turbine will generate 3100MWh of electricity, enough to power over 620 homes. The equivalent power sourced from the grid would produce 1600 tonnes of CO2.

In money-making terms it will provide significant revenue to the Tiree Community Development Trust totalling several million pounds over its lifetime.

But to me it is about empowerment. It is about empowering a community to take charge of its destiny, to decide what it is we want to achieve and to give us the means to achieve it. Now that the turbine is exporting power it is harnessing a resource that Tiree has plenty of and every turn of the blades generates not just electrical power but also the ability to turn dreams into reality. Power to the people!

I would like to thank everybody who has supported this project in any way, with voluntary effort and time, financially, professionally and commercially. The project has taken many thousands of hours of freely given voluntary work on the part of the TREL board and I would particularly like to thank them, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with them.

Thanks too, to you, the people of Tiree for supporting us through the process and for your patience and forbearance during and after the construction.

Bruce Kemp

Comment on behalf of Argyll Estates

I was very encouraged to see so many faces, both young and old, at the opening of the new Tiree Community Wind Turbine, which in more ways than one is a landmark achievement leaving no one in any doubt that Tiree leads by example.

When the Estate agreed to give up the land for the project, my main concern was the local reaction to what many may have perceived to be a “blot on the landscape”. In fact this was not the case and indeed on my ferry journey into Tiree I realised how wrong perception can be as Tilley has proved to be a most unobtrusive and graceful design.

The turbine in the main seems to have been embraced by the Islanders, and rightly so, given the enormous financial benefits such a development will generate. Yes it has been a long hard road for those involved, however I think all of us with an interest in the Island should see Tilley the Turbine as a monument to a job well done; a flag flying for an island whose community has taken up the baton and run with it, showing a progressive and forward thinking approach to sustainable community development.

Well done to you all for giving such support and well done to those involved in TREL for making it all happen.

Andrew Montgomery
Factor , Argyll Estates

And a Thank You from TCDT

Tiree Community Development Trust would like to thank everyone who turned out on Saturday to celebrate the opening of Tilley the Tiree Turbine.

In particular, thanks go to Agrimarine, Cal Mac, Rockvale, Chocolate & Charms, Enercon, Co-operative Bank and Martrain for their very generous contributions, and to Atlantic Edge Hotels for the many bottles of bubbly.

The band were great and the pipers were excellent. Thanks also to all the volunteers who baked, brewed and served up the lunches, teas and cakes, and who then tidied up afterwards and donated raffle prizes. We’d also like to thank the supporters who could not make it on Saturday, particularly Mary Jean Devon and the other local councillors, and of course the Big Lottery. Lastly, the biggest thanks of all to you, the community, for being patient in your support for this brilliant project.

New Landmark Takes Shape On Tiree


A new landmark is taking shape on the island. The £2 million pound community project to build a large wind turbine has entered the final stages with arrival on island of 7 lorry loads of parts and two gigantic cranes, transported by Mar-Train heavy haulage based in Ireland and Scotland. A specially chartered sailing of Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferry, the MV Clansman, arrived at Scarinish pier at 10.45pm on Saturday 7th November and it took over 2 hours to unload all the lorries/ cranes and components.

By Thursday 12th the first two sections of the turbine, each measuring over 15 meters, had been erected by the team from Enercon/ Whytes Cranes with assistance from Mar Train employees. Ironically, strong winds then intervened and put a temporary halt to the construction work. This is not surprising, according to Tiree Community Development Trust chairperson, Tish MacKinnon: “Tiree is the windiest place in the UK, so we should expect some delays. It’s just a pity that it has to come now, when we want calm days to get the construction done. Last month when we had the Wave Classic windsurfing event it hardly blew at all!”

Tiree Trust set up a community enterprise, Tiree Renewable Energy Company Ltd (TREL) to work on the turbine project. Chairman of the TREL board, Bruce Kemp, is also not surprised by delays: “The project has taken over 4 years to get to this stage, during which we have faced every kind of obstacle, frustration, set back and disappointment. The reason it is still going ahead is that we have a team of incredibly hard-working volunteers on the board of TREL. Remarkably, the project is still almost on schedule. Construction should be completed by the end of November.

The next steps are the commissioning and connection to the grid which should take place in December and the community should finally start to earn money from the sale of electricity. The turbine is expected to operate for 25 years, during which time it should earn in the region of £3.5 million.

Liz Lapsley, the local project officer working for the Tiree Trust, sees this to be the whole point of the project; “Once we have paid off the bank loan we could be earning over £200,000 a year for the community. We will have a community chest in the form of a local grant scheme that can be used to invest in any social, cultural or economic good cause that the community wants to support.” Tish MacKinnon also said “We are so close to getting our turbine up and running. Some of the volunteers have been putting in 20 or 25 hours a week, week after week for 4 years. There is just the voltage control equipment to be commissioned and we are there. If we hit another delay we will miss the good winter wind, our bank loan will increase and we will have less money for the community. We just need everyone to do their part, and Tiree can start to harvest the wind and look to the future.

For more information and photos of this project check out the Tiree Renewable Energy Website