Renewable energy: How wind is changing the fortunes of Lewis islanders

The bitter winds that batter Scotland’s Isle of Lewis are set to fuel Europe’s biggest community energy project. But for clean energy here to fulfill its potential – and for the islanders to reap the benefits – a crucial cable must get the go ahead

February is a bitter month in Lewis in the Western Isles, and nowhere more so than on the moors which cover the centre of the island. The sleet is driven horizontally by the relentless wind which sweeps in from the Atlantic and across the low-lying ground of the north-west coast at Ghabhsainn (Galson).

For generations, these winter winds have been a trial for the crofting and fishing communities which are strung along the coastline. But now, the islanders increasingly recognise that the wind looks set to become their biggest asset, as a source of energy and money.

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