The ‘north end’ of Skye is 3 distinct peninsulas rather than the one ‘end’ that is implied. From East to West these are Trotternish, Waternish and Duirinish. Resting in the sea loch between Waternish and Durinish is the village of Dunvegan, pronounced Dun-Veh-Gan. The meaning of the name is thought to be fort of Beccán, where Beccán is a person’s name rather than any derivation of the gaelic for small. Dunvegan is home to Dunvegan Castle seat of the chief of the Clan MacLeod family. The population of Dunvegan is approximately 200.
Ben Aketil wind farm through Ben Aketil Energy Limited pays more than £45,000 per year into a locally managed community fund, which are used to support local community initiatives in education, environmental improvements, energy conservation and community facilities in the Dunvegan area of Skye.
In addition to the community fund, members of the local community set up the Isle of Skye Renewables Co-operative Ltd. in order to purchase a stake in the wind farm – the second scheme of its kind in Scotland. This community business initiative was achieved with the support of Energy4All Ltd, a company that promotes ownership of renewable energy schemes and energy conservation measures. The co-operative bought a share in the profits from Falck Renewables and in turn, local people joined the co-operative, buying shares worth between £250 and £20,000. Profits from the sale of green electricity produced by the wind farm are distributed to members through an annual dividend. The initial 570 members of the Co-op invested over £812,000.