No, not that kind of dancing lady. We’re talking wind turbines.
In the ongoing saga of how they do it better in the U.K., the scrappy residents of Gigha, a tiny island in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, built themselves three turbines. They partnered with a company called Green Energy U.K., and a couple of weeks ago, this greenpower project saw its first green. Profits from the community enterprise, expected to reach the equivalent of $140,000 a year, will go toward housing and other improvements. The 98-foot-tall turbines, fondly known as “dancing ladies,” can also provide two-thirds of the island’s energy.
To give you an idea what kind of place Gigha is, check out how its 100-odd residents approved the turbine project: “The decision to go ahead on Gigha was made via a unanimous show of hands, by islanders, in the village hall.”
It’s not the first time these activist islanders have rallied ’round a cause. In 2002, when a private owner put the seven-mile-long chunk of land on the block, residents decided to buy it, with the help of grants and a million-pound loan. To pay back the loan (nearly $2 million), they held quiz nights, soup ‘n’ sandwich days, and rows around the island — oh yeah, and sold a huge 19th-century mansion now open as a B&B. See the whole story, including drawings of the turbines by some of the island’s 13 schoolchildren. Yeehaw, Gigha!