Project lead: Transition Black Isle/ Caithness Voluntary Group
Location: Highland
Local Energy Challenge Fund award amount: £25,000


Caithness Rural Transport provides a Dial-A-Ride door to door transport service for people with mobility problems. Caithness Rural Transport is part of Caithness Voluntary Group (CVG) which exists to support the voluntary sector in Caithness. CVG wanted to green its service by using electric vehicles for its service, working with other local transport groups to agree usable locations for new rapid chargers.

Project aims and objectives

In 2015, CVG applied to the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund (LECF) and successfully secured Phase 1 funding to support feasibility work for its ACTION (Alternative Community Transport In Our Neighbourhood) project. CVG also hoped to use renewable electricity to charge batteries which would be located at charging points. ACTION is working with local battery manufacturer, Denchi Power Ltd, to develop a renewable energy charging point at their Thurso facility.

This will be a pilot project to commercially develop this product for off-grid applications. ACTION is looking to help Denchi recruit two researchers to look at the outputs from the pilot.

This new green transport project will have the following key features:

  • the use of unused or ‘free’ renewable energy
  • the use of stranded assets such as wind turbines and batteries that would otherwise be recycled
  • the better use of existing facilities by using them to host charging points
  • giving the potential for charging point locations to act as a catalyst for community enterprise
  • supplementing public transport provision with community transport.

Towards the end of 2015 Caithness Renewables, who had successfully prepared the LECF Phase 1 application, commenced work on the Phase 2 application. Although this was not finally submitted, much progress was made with the project and the phase two application update report was produced to summarise the outcomes.

Read the phase two application update report.