Urras Thiriodh

Tiree Community Development Trust


Tiree Renewable Energy Ltd is the company which runs Tilley, the community wind turbine. TREL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiree Community Development Trust.

TREL was formed in 2006. Tilley has generated well over £1 million for the Tiree economy, helping to support community groups, and develop the Trust’s services and assets.

The Story of TREL

The main funding acquired to build the wind turbine project came from two loans:

TREL borrowed £1.2m from the Co-op Bank

The Trust received a capital grant of £712,600 from The Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets project which was then loaned to TREL.

TREL transfers to the Trust all available net cash as a donation after paying overheads and loan repayments. The Trust then invests this in community projects.

Tilley our Turbine

Tilley is a 900kw Enercon E44 wind turbine which was installed on the Ruaig Sliabh at the east of Tiree. 

The principal motivation for the development of Tilley the turbine by TREL was to contribute to the financing of various projects proposed under the island’s development plan by harvesting Tiree’s most abundant resource. Tiree’s status as one of the windiest locations in the UK makes Tilley one of the most efficient turbines of her type in the world.


How long will it take to pay off the borrowing? Co-op Bank loan will be paid off by the end of August 2022. A loan from the Trust will be paid back by January 2025.

Can Tiree use the power from the Turbine? Tiree currently uses power from Tilley when there is a demand, however when demand is low power is exported to the mainland via the sub-sea cable. Without the ability to export through this cable Tilley cannot operate at full power.

 Why only one turbine? At the time of the initial application to Scottish Southern Energy, there was less than 1MW of export capacity available. A single turbine was considered to be the most cost effective option given this limitation.

How does the noise of the turbine affect nearby stock? Cattle and sheep now graze happily around the turbine site.

Is the Turbine harmful to birds? Studies have concluded that 95% of birds will avoid collision in all conditions of weather and visibility. There have been no reports of bird strikes on our site to date.


Martin Finnigan (Chair)
John Bowler
Ann MacDonald
Mark Beese
Iain MacDonald
Cameron Smith

Company Details

Company number SC292914

Latest Updates

  • Tilley Updates: June 2024

    As we head into Summer, the TREL Board wanted to give you an update on the current status of Tilley.…

    Read more

  • The Windfall Fund is Open!

    We are delighted to announce that the Windfall fund has reopened for community-focused events and projects. You might have noticed…

    Read more