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Contact Soirbheas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who owns Soirbheas? As a company limited by guarantee, Soirbheas doesn’t have shareholders in the way that most companies do. It has been formed for the express purpose of owning and operating, through a trading company wholly-owned by Soirbheas, a wind turbine for the benefit of the community, so all members of the community are stakeholders. Soirbheas is one wind turbine of a total of five to be erected at Corrimony.
What are the directors of Soirbheas paid? The directors of Soirbheas are all volunteers and have given up their time for no charge. From time to time they incur expenses on behalf of Soirbheas, which are reimbursed, but otherwise they receive no money at all from the company.
Where is the money to fund Soirbheas coming from? Until the windfarm is built and generating electricity, Soirbheas will have no income. The costs of operating Soirbheas in the meantime are being funded by a variety of grants from Community Energy Scotland and the lottery fund. Once planning permission has been granted and the scheme reaches the construction phase, Soirbheas will seek to raise money from bank loans and grants. At the present time due to the huge cost involved, the community will not be asked to financially support the project.
How will the bank loan be repaid? The bank loan, which will be secured on the assets of Soirbheas’i.e the wind turbine – will be repaid from the money earned from generating electricity. Over time, it is intended that the bank loan will be paid down, increasing the funds available to be spent on community projects.
Will the community have any responsibility for paying down the bank loan? No. If for whatever reason Soirbheas is unable to meet its obligations to the bank, there will be no recourse to the community.
How much money will be needed? It is difficult to predict how much money will be needed until we know when the wind farm will actually be built.
What will the money be used for? All we know right now is that the money will be spent for the benefit of the local community. Local people will have a say both in Soirbheas’ general terms of operation will be and in proposing specific projects for funding.
Will I get cheaper electricity? Unfortunately not, or at least not as a result of Soirbheas. In the long term, decreasing reliance on fossil fuels should certainly reduce the environmental cost to us all, however.
What else is needed before the wind farm can become operational? Time, energy, ideas, enthusiasm! Soirbheas exists for the community and so every contribution, whether it is a suggestion for how money should be raised, or indeed spent, or funds to help finance the wind turbine, will be greatly appreciated.
Will there be any jobs created locally? Not directly, but it is hoped the infrastructure and construction will be sourced locally.
Why do we need a wind farm in our community? Wind is a valuable resource in Scotland’s quest to reduce its reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources. No matter what we think about global warming – and there is a great deal of scientific evidence to suggest that we should take this very seriously – it’s clear that oil and gas won’t last for ever. Small-scale, local wind generation schemes provide one means of generating electricity with a low carbon cost. Obviously, wind farms are dependent on the wind and so won’t run every day of the year, but when combined with the hydro-electric schemes in our area, we will certainly be doing our bit.
Soirbheas is to be a partner with the Girvan family in the development of a five turbine windfarm at Corrimony. Soirbheas needs to raise money from fundraising and grant applications, to lease the ground from the Girvans, and to arrange a bank loan for the purchase and erection for the one community-owned turbine. The power produced by the farm will be sold to an energy company. Soirbheas will use its income to repay the loan and meet loan interest and operating costs. Surplus income will be used to directly benefit the communities of Strathglass and Glen Urquhart.
Soirbheas has a constitution which permits funds to be used to support other groups currently active in the area. Care and sports groups and community halls could all benefit. Soirbheas can also run projects itself; perhaps addressing energy needs and promoting further energy-producing projects. Soirbheas can use its income to promote social and economic benefit, so it could also engage help to create plans for developments that just need extra time and effort to get off the ground
Tanya Castell - Director & Chair: Tanya first came to Strathglass in 2000. She is a Pension Trustee of a major company pension fund and a consultant in risk and regulatory matters with a background in financial services. Tanya has been curious about renewable energy options for some time and believes that small projects that support and invest in the local communities are the most acceptable approach to on-shore wind farms. Fellow director Andrew and Tanya are husband and wife.
Anne MacDonald - Director: Anne has lived in the Glen Urquhart area almost all of her life and has been involved in the community in a variety of roles, most recently as chair of the Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association and now the proposed wind farm project. Before she became involved in this project she had little knowledge of renewable energy and its benefits, but is now beginning to become 'a bore' on the subject! Anne's reasons for becoming involved in the development is she sees the potential this project could have on the long-term future of both communities, providing a substantial income over the next 20 years that could benefit all of the residents in some way.
Erik Trelfer - Director & Secretary: Erik has lived in Glen Urquhart for almost 20 years and works as a Chartered Insurance Broker. Erik is involved in the community of Glenurquhart as Clerk to the Congregational Board of Urquhart & Glenmoriston Church of Scotland and Youth group team member. For a number of years Erik has been interested in renewable energy and saw this as an ideal opportunity to get involved in a suitable project. He believes if we accept wind-farms and power lines, then we should secure some of the wealth they generate and plough it back for the benefit of the community (in the way Shetland have with oil). This partnership in a small windfarm is a tremendous opportunity for the community to secure a long term income stream and enable it to become more self sufficient and independent.
Nigel Fraser - Director: Nigel has lived in Strathglass almost all of his life and continues to run the family business in Tomich. Nigel is a Partner in Strutt & Parker LLP, a national firm of land and property specialists. Nigel is a Chartered Surveyor with a focus on estate management, being responsible for the management of a number of estates throughout Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland and Argyll. Nigel has a background in renewable energy and has overseen the development of a number of wind, biomass and hydro schemes across Scotland. Nigel probably lives closer to the project than anyone else and hopes his experience might help deliver this most wonderful resource for the community.
Mathieu Oosterwijk - Director: Mathieu has been living in Scotland since 2008 and in Tomich since the start of 2011. He has been a Marine Surveyor and Consultant since 1989 and has been involved in numerous large to very large claims handling processes. Having been involved with various maritime organisations, including companies involved in the Oil and Gas sector in the North Sea and farther afield, the renewable industry has made him think a little further than before and he is keen to start delving into the matter and helping the local community at the same time (by having others making use of his expertise in the energy and insurance sectors).
Suzanne Irvine - Director: Suzanne, having studied Computer Studies and Applied Maths in Edinburgh, started her career as a software engineer. In the early 90s she moved to Inverness with BT to work on Research and Development on communication networks and the internet. She then returned to Marconi Simulation, who she had worked for before and then took a technical network manager position with Scotrail, in Inverness. Whilst working for Scotrail she was outsourced to BT where she worked as a project manager. However once her children reached school age she changed career. She now thoroughly enjoys working as a registered childminder in Drumnadrochit. Additionally, she goes into nurseries, schools and playgroups to teach feltmaking and undertake projects with the children.
Ian Campbell - Director & Treasurer: After living in rural Aberdeenshire for twenty four years, Ian and his partner Kate retired to Cannich in 2011. Ian is a Chartered Accountant who lived and worked in half-a-dozen different countries and carried out business assignments in more than two dozen others. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London, Ian spent five years in the computer industry before moving to the oil service sector where he worked for more than twenty three years in a variety of senior financial and operational roles. In 2004 he joined Univation Ltd, the commercial subsidiary of Robert Gordon University, and was Managing Director there from 2005 to 2010. Ian is a Board member at Glenurquhart Care Project and a member of Strathglass Community Council.
Andrew Castell - Director: Andrew is a Strathglass resident. He is a partner in Par Equity LLP, an Edinburgh-based venture capital firm and is also a non-executive director of Highlands & Islands Airports Limited. His interest in Soirbheas stems from his belief that projects of this type can help draw together communities in the Highlands. He also has a professional interest in the renewable energy sector, as one of Par Equity's key areas of focus is sustainability, which includes renewable energy.
Erik Trelfer - Director: See above.
Nigel Fraser - Director: See above.
Donna Green: Donna and her husband moved to their home in Glen Urquhart in 2005 where they run their own accountancy business. Donna is a Chartered Accountant with a number of years’ experience working in practise. Prior to her time in practise she spent several years working in the property sector in London and the South East. She has, for many years, been a supporter of renewable energy and sees the Corrimony wind farm project as an exciting opportunity for the community to benefit directly from the income generated by the wind turbines.
Soirbheas is keen to ensure that everyone can have their say on how the community company should develop. We are keen that local people get involved perhaps by simply becoming a member of Soirbheas. We also are keen to expand our Steering Group and welcome nominations for board membership.
You can get involved now - and forever! Membership of Soirbheas is open to all. We cover the community council areas of Strathglass and Glen Urquhart - Cannich to Drumadrochit and beyond. If you want to be on our mailing list or get further information contact email@example.com.
Or write to:
Soirbheas, c/o 102a Balmacaan Road, Drumnadrochit, IV63 6UR
If you would like to become a member of Soirbheas download, complete and return our Membership Form
Alternatively contact us using the form on our Contact Page.
We hold meetings regularly in the Balnain Hall which are open to all members. If you have an interest in becoming a director at the next election, contact us now. If you want to pledge money or offer in-kind support we are keen to hear from you too. The greater our own cash investment is in the windfarm, the greater will be the return to both our communities.