Phase 1

Finished in June 2008, Phase 1 infrastructure supplies renewable energy input from an extensive photo-voltaic (PV) array and hydro generation from island lochs through a system of computer controlled invertors. All this energy input is stored in a battery bank from which consumer demand is supplied. A diesel generator tops up the battery bank if renewable energy input is insufficient.

Photo-voltaic (PV) Array 

Construction of a 19kW bank of solar panels that now generates nearly 13% of the islands electricity energy. On peak days in the summer the PV supplies over 50% of the island’s demand.



A 16 kW hydro generator installed to replace an earlier system and a second loch and catchment area brought into play through the installation of a 1000 metre pipeline (Ouvrafanal / da Crag Burn).


The SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) computer pro-gramme which controls the hydro turbine is monitored several times a week from Lerwick.

Battery Storage 140kW/hrs of battery storage to reduce the need for diesel generation when renewable sources run low. These are essential in getting the most from our renewable infrastructure.


Upgraded Grid A new network of transformers across the Island linking the system with peoples’ homes

Environmental Monitoring

‘Renewable Technology’ is not synonymous with ‘Low Impact. Extensive surveys and consultation were employed to minimise damage to our local environment. Foula Heritage Ranger Service monitored the work on the new pipeline track throughout its construction. The pictures below show how well the track healed after 6 months.


(pictured) Peatland recovery following pipeline installation

Contractors for Phase 1

Main contractors were Malakoff Ltd, with sub-contractors FLJ (Shetland) Ltd., Econnect, Wind and Sun, and Dulas Ltd.


Foula Electricity Trust would like to put on record their thanks and appreciation to main contractors Malakoff Ltd, and in particular to Chris Irvine, for their out-standing co-operation on this project. Without their professional expertise and exceptional dedication in often demanding and challenging circumstances, the project could not have been completed, and the Foula community would not now be enjoying a 24-hour electricity supply.


Special mention should be made of the skill and proficiency of sub-contractors FLJ (Shetland) Ltd as they used tracked vehicles on open moorland in the winter months to lay the new hydro pipeline. The Trust gratefully recognises that their special expertise minimised the envi-ronmental impact of the pipe-laying operation.


Phase 1 Project Manager: Malcolm Miller

The Trust would also like to take this opportunity of recording their thanks and appreciation to Malcolm Miller for his efforts in successfully delivering a first class renewable electricity scheme to the Foula Community. Malcolm has worked as Engi-neering Project Manager to the Trust for some five years now. During that time he has prepared feasibility studies, negotiated with SNH, SEPA, and RSPB in respect of the special environmental designations relating to Foula’s flora and fauna. and after considerable work and effort was successful in obtaining Planning Consent for the Trust’s proposed hydro scheme and pipe-line to the Fleck Loch.


Isobel Holbourn

It is safe to say that little, if none, of the above would have been possible without months of dedicated voluntary labour from Isobel, who worked tirelessly on applications for all core funding toward this scheme and bringing on board the right help to make it all happen as funding was secured.