Raasay Community Renewables

A community benefit society working to fund and two hydro-electric generation schemes on the Isle of Raasay in the Highlands of Scotland.

127 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

170
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Our story

Situated between the Applecross peninsula and the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Raasay (Eilean Ratharsair in Gaelic) is home to 170 people and a rich variety of wildlife and plants. Its name means ‘Isle of the Roe Deer’.

In September 2020, the community set up Raasay Community Renewables Ltd (RCR), a Community Benefit Society (FCA registration number 8459) to develop sustainable energy infrastructure projects that will contribute to supporting the local population and environment.

We invite you to buy shares in our community owned hydro-electric generation schemes which harnesses the combined potential of two run of river hydros - the 99KW Inverarish Burn Hydro and the 38KW Mine Burn Hydro. This is a fantastic opportunity to invest in social and environmental causes and see a financial return for your support in the years to come.

The schemes are estimated to generate, on average, 520,000kWh of electricity each year translating to annual savings of 127 cubic tonnes of CO2 emissions. In addition, a community benefit fund will be established from the schemes profits. Conservative projections indicate the schemes will generate a surplus from 2024 of c£6k rising yearly to c£28k in 2031 and beyond which will enter the community benefit fund, supporting other sustainable island projects.

We will work with the community to identify local uses for the electricity that we cannot export to the national grid such as supplying local businesses and looking into providing charging points for electric vehicles.

We have raised over £300K in grants to support the build and we need a further £650K to bring the project to completion. Individuals and organisations are invited to buy shares in our schemes and help us reach our target. In doing so, you will become a valued member of Raasay Community Renewables.

Our advice

  • Find out about your community – what assets does it have and who can bring the skills you need to the project? Raasay Community Renewables inaugural board is made up of four of our community members, three of whom have engineering and renewables experience, the fourth brings knowledge and experience of community organisations and governance. This knowledge and experience inspires confidence in our project. The board is also very young and the transferable skills, in terms of knowing how to manage social media and present ourselves online etc. has been another key aspect of our success to date.
  • Find out about the support available. Raasay Community Renewables has had tremendous support from Local Energy Scotland, CARES, Community Shares Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland and SSE. My role as the Islands development officer has also provided the volunteer directors with support in terms of applying for funding, preparing the documents for the share offer and general admin, my post is financed through a grant award from HIE.
  • Find out what other communities have done. Two of the Raasay Community Renewables directors visited an operational community hydro scheme and this learning exchange provided, through lived experience examples, a great insight into the challenges and rewards of community hydro initiatives.

Our metrics

  • The schemes are estimated to generate, on average, 520,000kWh of electricity each year translating to annual savings of 127 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • A community benefit fund (estimated at £670,000 over the projects lifetime) will be established from the sale of the electricity and used to promote other sustainable projects on the island.

Read more: https://raasayrenewables.co.uk

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