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17 May 2017

Those SMART folk from Fintry

One of the earliest community energy pioneers were known as the Fintry Four - four residents of a Stirlingshire community with the foresight and negotiating skills to secure a significant share for their community in a private windfarm.  Acquiring that stake in the windfarm was just step one in a long term plan to turn the Fintry village into one of the most energy efficient, low carbon communities in the country. Their latest energy innovation was launched recently. This is one SMART community. 


 

By CommonSpace

For more information on the Fintry Four and the Fintry Development Trust click here


A pioneering ‘smart energy’ project in a Stirlingshire village is powering ahead after more than a quarter of local residents signed up to take part.


The village of Fintry has become the first “smart village” in the UK using the latest technology to allow residents to buy their electricity directly from renewable energy generators in the local area.


The SMART Fintry project, which aims to help cut energy bills and CO2 emissions, has been awarded funding for the second year in a row by the Scottish Government and has been signed up to by a quarter of people in the village.


Due to be completed in March 2018, the village of 700 people will see another 100 households plus some businesses take part in the project to see how a local community can sustain energy use from local renewables rather than from large-scale sources.


Gordon Cowtan, resident and co-founder of Fintry Development Trust said: “The households taking part have already switched to a special renewable electricity tariff with Good Energy and have had new meters installed to keep track of their energy use.


“As well as more control over their energy use, SMART Fintry participants have the added benefit of being supplied by 100% renewable electricity – much of it from local sources.” Will Vooght


“Over the next few months, they’ll start to see even more benefits as we launch a new online portal showing them how and when they’re using electricity, and linking this to the output from our local renewable generators.


“In the long run, we hope that by reducing the strain on the national grid smart, local energy systems like the one being piloted in Fintry will help drive down household energy bills and make communities more self-sufficient”.


The first of its kind in the UK, the project aims to set a new blueprint for communities to become more energy self-sufficient by making better use of local wind, solar and other renewable resources and balance local renewable electricity generation with local demand.


A new smart meter is given to villagers to help monitor electricity use along with a special renewable electricity tariff. The project helps locals to match their electricity use with the output of three local renewable generators, including two wind turbines and an anaerobic digestion plant.


SMART Fintry is funded by the Local Energy Challenge Fund and the project is being run by a consortium of commercial, academic and local partners: including Fintry Development Trust, Veitch Cooper, Energy Assets, Heriot-Watt University, and renewable energy supplier Good Energy.


Will Vooght, head of research and innovation at Good Energy said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from Fintry so far.


“As well as more control over their energy use, SMART Fintry participants have the added benefit of being supplied by 100% renewable electricity – much of it from local sources.”

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