COMMUNITIES in off-grid locations are being invited to apply for a share in £3 million worth of funding to help them develop greener and cheaper energy.

The investment aims to empower communities which operate existing local independent grid electricity systems to develop independent and climate-friendly energy supplies.

The Scottish Government said £3m is being made available through its Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (Cares) to help those in rural and island areas develop projects in 2022-23.

Applications to the fund, administered by Local Energy Scotland, are now open.

READ MORE: How two projects on Shetland will use natural resources to replace fossil fuels

The fund has previously aided an increase in renewable electricity on the island of Eigg, and the construction of a new buried hydropower pipeline to bring secure, renewable energy back to the community of Knoydart.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We know that there are some unique challenges to establishing zero and low carbon electricity networks in off-grid locations – particularly on our islands and in rural areas.

“That is why we are committed to delivering tangible support, through initiatives such as the Cares programme, to ensure we meet our climate obligations while at the same time seizing the opportunities this presents to ensure a greener, fairer future for everyone.”