Already for quite some time I wanted to write something about the new website/blog from the Islay Energy Trust and about the changes at the trust regarding their staff, triggered by an article in the Ileach of early April, which I will publish below. There are some exciting times to come for the IET (Islay Energy Trust), time for a quick look back. It was September 2008 when a press release announced the possibility of a tidal energy system in the Sound of Islay and earlier this year the IET signed a memorandum of understanding with ScottishPower Renewables for a joint development of the tidal energy in the Sound of Islay. I'm not sure what happened since then re the tidal energy but if there is news to report the IET will hopefully publish that on their blog, where you can also find lots of other useful and interesting information. The IET blog's address is http://islayenergytrust.wordpress.com/.
Some of the other activities of the Trust were to hire new staff and open up an office in Bowmore. A quote from the article in the April issue of the Ileach: "The community-owned Islay Energy Trust (IET) is pleased to announce the opening of its office in Custom House, Bowmore. Working there will be Andy Macdonald, Tidal Project Officer, whose work will involve liaison with the Sound of Islay Tidal Project development team from ScottishPower Renewables and local stakeholders on Islay and Jura, and Lindy MacLellan, the recently-appointed Carbon & Energy Cost Savings Project Officer (a post funded by the Scottish Governmentâ€™s Climate Challenge Fund). Lindyâ€™s job will be to promote the carbon and cost saving advantages of efficient energy use and appropriate renewable energy supply sources, and to act as a focal point for advice to individuals and organisations on Islay and Colonsay. Continue reading....IETâ€™s Chairman, Philip Maxwell, said, 'The opening of an office now provides a physical base for IETâ€™s twin objectives of, on the one hand, being an active participant in renewable energy projects, and, on the other, promoting energy conservation/efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the islandâ€™s domestic and business community. In the future, it is hoped that benefits will include distribution of dividends from energy generation leading to increased sustainability of community enterprises by reducing grant dependency, creation of jobs and new economic capacity, wider career choices for local school-leavers, carbon emission savings etc. IET members and Board send best wishes to Andy and Lindy in their new roles.'
Lindy was born and brought up on Islay, and addition to having been educated at Islay High School holds an Honours degree in Biology and Earth Sciences. She has previously worked for Islay Natural History Trust, as Visitor Centre manager, and also for Scottish Natural Heritage, both in administration and as a goose counter with the Islay Goose Management Scheme. She was recently employed by Islay Community Access Group to deliver Islay Community Access Project, a two-year project designed to improve public access on the island and promote walking for health. This was followed by a summer working as a distillery tour guide at Bunnahabhain before taking up the post with IET.
Andy is from Aberdeen and moved to Islay three years ago. Having studied Electrical Engineering in Edinburgh, the technical challenges of the Tidal Energy project are a familiar area of expertise. Prior to moving to Islay, Andy has lived and worked across Europe including jobs in the Netherlands and France before returning to Scotland to work with ScottishPower in Glasgow. Most recently, Andy was the manager of Ionad Chaluim Chille ÃŒle. IET is managed by a Board of Trustees, which is elected by members of the Company. Anyone over the age of 17 who lives or has property on Islay can become a voting member of the Company; contact Anne Clark, tel: 01496 850311, for details. (Image: Andy MacDonald, Lindy MacLellan and Philip Maxwell in their new Bowmore offices)