In 2005 HWA raised funds to research and put on an exhibition on the local history of power – a water mill, a 1905 micro hydro turbine for the mansion house and the great Hydro board schemes of the 1950’s (three of which ) used water from within our locality. And we audited all the energy – domestic and industrial – currently used here.
“Our Power” project aims-
- to examine past and present use of energy in Cairndow
- to reduce our carbon emissions and to try to establish Cairndow as a low carbon community
- to explore the possibility of generating power here with general benefit to the community and HWA, including a revenue stream
- to encourage the community, “empowering” us to be more in control and to be able to do things for ourselves
During the research for the exhibition we:
- Worked with local primary schools – sourcing energy monitors and conducting competitions on as to which house hold was able to reduce their energy use the most over a period of weeks.
- We were presented with an S cube by Scottish Power which we used for demonstration at the centre.
- We were presented with a wind turbine by Amec to demonstrate and stimulate discussion on domestic energy use.
- We took the findings from the local energy audit to an exhibition in the village hall.
Then we began to think: “What could we do for ourselves? Could we actually generate renewable energy here ourselves?”