Allt Dearg Background
Allt Dearg Wind Farmers LLP (ADWF) was established in 2009 by the neighbouring Ormsary and Stronachullin estates to develop the plentiful wind resource of the 477m high Cruach a’ Phubuill hill above them. The site had previously been subject to a unsuccessful planning application for a much larger development by a big utility developer. Remote and sparsely populated rural Argyll is not, historically, well endowed with economic opportunities. The harnessing of the plentiful wind resources by Allt Dearg Community Wind Farm for the socio-economic benefit of local people was a rare opportunity to generate sustainable home-grown wealth that will help to underpin vibrant and sustainable communities.
The local Ardrishaig community set out to be involved from the outset through their ‘Ardrishaig Community Trust’. They became a partner in ADWF in December 2011 during the financial close of the funding deal, and now own a one twelfth share in Allt Dearg Community Wind Farm. A share of the cash surplus generated by the wind farm over the next 20 years will be received by the Trust’s trading subsidiary called Ardrishaig Renewable Energies Ltd (ARE). The money is given as a charitable donation to the Trust, which uses these funds to help facilitate the development and regeneration of Ardrishaig for the benefit of the local community and wider public, following the principles of sustainable development.
The cost of the community buy-in by the Ardrishaig Trust to secure approximately a 1/12th share, was derived from the proportionate share of the Capital Cost of Construction rather than the Commercial Market Value of the developed project. This substantial discount on buy-in price was the key benefit that the land owning developers were able to provide to the local community, and sets Allt Dearg apart from other joint community ownership models, where the developer seeks to recover the substantial market value, which includes the "opportunity value", of the consented site from the community investor.
The main construction works started in September 2011 and the wind farm was fully operational by Christmas Eve 2012.
The wind farm cost around £15 million to build and is expected to have an operational life of 20 - 25 years.
The project was funded by a mixture of external "equity" investment and long term debt initially provided by the Co-Operative Bank. The bank debt was re-financed with the Universities Superannuation Scheme in 2017.
More details on the Allt Dearg Wind Farm and the benefits the project brings to Argyll can be found on the FAQ page.
Who owns the Wind Farm?
The Wind Farm is owned by ADWF, a partnership which leases the ground on which the wind farm, access tracks and substation are situated, from the Stronachullin and Ormsary Estates. ADWF has six partners:
1 & 2. Ormsary and Stronachullin Estates (the Estates Partners) who own all the land, secured the planning consent and grid connection, and provide the necessary leases.
3. The Ventus Investment Funds (an Equity Partner), specialist renewable investment funds managed by London based Temporis Capital, which invested cash and structured the original finance agreements with The Co-Operative Bank. Click to Temporis Capital.
4. Wet & Windy Energy Limited (an Equity Partner), a private business owned by the Lithgow family, which invested cash and provides the ongoing commercial management of the project.
5. Lomond Energy, the husband and wife team who helped the Estate Partners get the project off the ground. Click to Lomond Energy.
6. The Ardrishaig Community Trust, via their ownership of ARE Ltd, which invested about £300k to secure a 1/12th share in the partnership. Click to Ardrishaig Community Trust.