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Allt Dearg Sets Gold Standard For Community Benefit

Posted on 03/02/2016 by James Lithgow

Argyll & Bute Council have released data on the Community Benefit payments made by Argyll's Wind Farms in 2015. Whilst Allt Dearg wind farm represents under 5% of the county's installed generation capacity, the community and locally owned wind farm contributes over 33% of the total direct community benefit paid out in Argyll.

Argyll had eleven commercial scale wind farms operating in 2015 - between them they are capable of generating 276 MW of power.  The Council collects annual data on the amount of community benefit payment made by each of these wind farms, last year the total amount received by local communities was £441,271.  Allt Dearg with an installed generation capacity of 10MW delivered £115,054 to the Ardrishaig Community Trust and £31,200 to the Allt Dearg Educational Trust, making it the largest single contributor of Community Benefit in Argyll. Full details of wind farm contributions can be found here.

James Lithgow of Ormsary said: "We started out with a different ownership model at Allt Dearg, determined that the maximum level of social and economic benefit from the project should be retained in the local community.  The published figures from 2015 further underline the success of this ambition.  Wind power is going through some uncertain times due to the recent changes in subsidy support, taxation and falling global energy prices - what remains constant is the high energy environment due to the terrible weather we enjoy in Argyll.  I hope that local land owners and communities can find ways to work together to ensure that the UK's next generation of wind farms brings higher levels of economic benefit to the surrounding area.  These Council figures only record the "direct" community benefit; in addition, Ormsary and Stronachullin, the local land owning partners at Allt Dearg, deliver indirect spend on local wages and services worth several times the direct benefits".