A local Development Trust director and former island community councillor – based on the Isle of Jura – is set to take up a vital role to deliver ScottishPower Renewables’ first offshore windfarm in Argyll and Bute.
Deborah (Debs) Boyle has been appointed as the Community Engagement Manager for MachairWind – the offshore windfarm that will be developed in the waters north-west of Islay and west of Colonsay.
With a proposed generating capacity of 2GW, it could produce enough clean, green electricity to power the equivalent of more than 2 million homes across the UK.
An advocate for clean, green energy with extensive experience in community engagement and development, Debs will be the first point of contact in the project team for people living on Islay, Colonsay and Jura.
She will play a key role in keeping people informed and engaged about MachairWind and supporting the project through the planning and development processes.
Her role will also focus on how local communities can benefit from the windfarm by maximising the local socio-economic benefits from the project.
Debs said: “As an islander and someone who has been involved in local community initiatives since I moved to Jura in 2005, I’m really looking forward to being part of the MachairWind team and providing that on the ground link between the team and the neighbouring islands and their communities.
“MachairWind is an exciting project – not just in terms of the additional homegrown green electricity it will provide, but also the potential opportunities it could bring to local communities, so I feel this truly is the perfect job for me.
“It combines my passion for island life and enjoying a cleaner and greener lifestyle with my experience in community engagement, consultation and development, and delivering impactful projects that can make a real difference to people and island living.
“I’m committed to ensuring that people and communities across Islay, Colonsay and Jura have the chance to play a full and active role in the development of MachairWind and our clean energy future – and I can’t wait to get to work!”
ScottishPower Renewables’ Senior Project Manager for MachairWind, Kiera Wilson, said: “At ScottishPower, we pride ourselves on being a responsible developer and a good neighbour and we’ve enjoyed positive and productive relationships with local people, communities and businesses across Argyll & Bute for more than 20 years.
“It’s fantastic to have Debs on board to build on that legacy as we progress our plans for the development of MachairWind, providing that local point of contact on a day-to-day basis. Her background, experience, drive and enthusiasm really ticked all the boxes. I have no doubt she will be an asset to the team, the project and the island communities as we work to deliver our first offshore windfarm in the region.”
For the latest news about MachairWind, go to www.machairwind.co.uk.