The level of interest in the electrification of Eigg and the issues raised by the project is very pleasing to those of us involved in the project.

The continuing debate seems to ignore the cost of putting a high-voltage infrastructure on to an island with dispersed properties and of dealing with variable demand relative to a very low baseload.

Some more information will help to inform the debate.

The £1.6m total cost was made up as follows: cabling (over 20km) - £650,000; control building (including batteries, invertors, control system) - £200,000; hydro generation (112 kw) - £300,000; wind generation (24kw) - £150,000; PV generation (10kw) - £200,000; diesel (2x80kw) - £50,000; metering - £50,000.

The diesel back-up is only to allow for periods in the summer when the rivers dry up and the wind doesn't blow, and the solar power is insufficient to keep the three-day battery supply topped up.

All renewable sources provide energy at no additional cost, whereas the diesel generation requires diesel that has to travel by ferry. It is, therefore, a model that could be used by many mains communities, replacing the diesel back-up and battery storage with a grid connection.

The Eigg community has demonstrated what can be achieved in becoming almost self-sufficient in energy.

Ian MacGillivray, Synergie Scotland, project managers for Eigg Electric, Fairways Business Park, Inverness.