Case Study: Community Pathways to Sustainability: Mull and Iona Community Trust
In 2010, local residents made the decision to develop renewable energy generation on the Isle of Mull with a view to addressing both local energy security and the climate crisis. Owing to the island’s rich wildlife, it was decided that the community would eschew wind in favour of hydroelectric generation. £1.5 million was raised via loans and a community share offer to cover the capital costs for one of the earliest community-owned renewable energy generation sites – Garmony Hydro.
The Garmony Hydro Scheme and subsequent Waterfall Fund have had a hugely positive impact for Mull & Iona Community Trust – in terms of enhanced local recognition and reputation – but even more so for the local community: households have benefited from clean energy and improved, affordable heating as well as hardship funds, and the community has benefitted from sustained investment and business creation.