Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has today (17th March) welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of £21 million of funding from the Local Energy Challenge Fund, for community ownership of energy projects.

Among the recipients of grants from the Local Energy Challenge Fund are Community Energy Scotland, who are receiving £1.8 million to develop viable grid connections for small scale generators in areas of constrained network on Mull.

Commenting on the funding award, Mr Russell said:

“This funding is a very positive development for the people of Mull. It will improve the stability of grid connections where it is needed most in the constituency. Therefore I welcome this announcement from the Minister today.

“I am pleased that the Scottish Government, through its Local Energy Challenge Fund, has recognised the special status and potential generating capacity of the islands in my constituency. I look forward to future projects in Argyll and Bute benefiting from this fund, when the second round of funding opens in the near future.”

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, added:

“The Scottish Government is defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision; putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system; and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments.

“These projects are a huge step towards defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision. They will provide vital learning across extremely challenging areas, such as adding value to local economies, matching local supply and demand, and addressing fuel poverty.

“But we know this is just the beginning, and we want to support more innovations like these. This is why the Scottish Government will run a second Challenge Fund, subject to the next spending round, making up to £500,000 available in 2015/2016.”

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