Community needs to back scheme

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Arran is one step closer to having a community-owned renewable energy scheme and, at a time of such uncertainty, that is, at least, something positive to take into the new year.

Sure, there is a great deal of work still to be done, but the small team from Arran Eco Savvy who have got us this far are to be congratulated, having done so in the midst of a pandemic.

While the £24,000 enablement grant is a huge step forward, money will have to be found to fund construction of solar PV panels at Auchrannie – and that is where you come in. Arran Community Renewables will launch the community shares offer in early spring and if they raise sufficient local capital, will look to start construction in spring 2021.

But if there is insufficient local interest and therefore insufficient community investment, the project will not go ahead.

The benefits of all types of community-owned renewable schemes are for residents, shareholders and Arran as a whole.

We can’t all have solar panels on our roofs, but some of us may have savings that are not acquiring much interest in the bank. Investing in community renewables can give better returns while supporting community projects continue further work towards stopping climate change.

Setting up a Community Benefit Society will keep all investment in the community, allowing the benefits to flow back to a community green fund for important environmental island projects.