Ben Aketil was the first wind farm to be built on the Isle of Skye. Located on MacLeod Estate land which is crofted by the Feorlig Crofting Community, the development was part of a portfolio lead by RDC Scotland and Falck Renewables Ltd. Construction on the site began in 2006 and the wind farm became fully operational in 2009.

Ben Aketil 2016  (6)

The site consists of twelve 2.3MW Enercon turbines giving a total installed capacity of 27.6 MW. This generates enough clean, green energy to supply around 17,000 homes per year. By producing power from wind instead of fossil fuels, Ben Aketil annually saves the emission of approximately 52,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This statistic is based on an emissions factor of 860g CO2/kWh, as electricity generated by coal fired power stations is typically displaced by wind power generating capacity. However it should be noted that future changes in the UK power generating mix over the twenty five year life of the wind farm means this figure could change over time.

This wind farm has not only produced environmental benefits but it has had a very positive impact on the local community. Ben Aketil Wind Energy Limited pays over £35,000 per annum into a locally managed community fund. The funds are used to support local community initiatives in education, environmental improvements, energy conservation and community facilities in the Dunvegan area.

In addition to the community fund, members of the local community set up the Isle of Skye Renewables Co-operative Ltd. in order to purchase a stake in the wind farm – the second scheme of its kind in Scotland and the first on an island. This community business initiative was achieved with the support of Energy4All Ltd, a company that promotes ownership of renewable energy schemes and energy conservation measures. The co-operative bought a share in the profits from Falck Renewables and in turn, local people joined the co-operative, buying shares worth between £250 and £20,000. Profits from the sale of green electricity produced by the wind farm are distributed to members through an annual dividend. The 570 members of the Co-op invested over £812,000.