Next step in Bute community wind project

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The organisation behind a community wind energy generation scheme for Bute has invited firms to submit bids for a feasibility study into the project.

Bute Community Power (BCP) intends to have a contractor appointed by the beginning of August to carry out the study, which will form the basis of a planning application for the project.

The organisation - set up as a ‘community benefit society’ - is also stepping up its consultation with island residents and visitors on the possibility of a small-scale project featuring one or two wind turbines on privately-owned land on Bute.

Project manager Boyd Alexander visited Rothesay’s Co-operative supermarket on Friday and Saturday to distribute information about the scheme and gather the views of the public.

“We have nearly 50 members and we hope in the next three weeks to increase that significantly,” Mr Alexander told The Buteman.

“Consultation will be at smaller events initially, but there probably will be bigger events later on.

“At the moment we are trying to increase our membership, get more information out to the community and prepare the ground for the community to invest in the project once we’ve got through planning.”

Mr Alexander will continue the organisation’s engagement process with a stand on board one of Caledonian MacBrayne’s Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferries until 10am on Monday, July 14.

BCP’s company secretary Reeni Kennedy-Boyle told The Buteman in May that the organisation planned to look at the feasibilty of a one- or two-turbine project which was both commercially viable and met the terms of the Argyll and Bute Landscape Wind Energy Capacity Study, published in March 2012.