This week Allt Dearg Wind Farm distributed over £135,000 to the Community Trust which holds Ardrishaig’s share in this locally owned wind farm. Together with the recent payments to the Tighnabruaich and Tarbert Trusts who hold similar shares in the neighbouring Sròndoire Wind Farm, and the wind farms’ contributions to the local Educational Trust, this brings the total direct community benefit payments from these projects to well over £ 1.1 million. This is a significant milestone for the projects, and highlights the socio-economic advantages of local ownership in wind power; despite its relatively small capacity Allt Dearg is the single largest contributor of community benefit payments in Argyll.
The recent publication of the UK Government’s tracking survey
of public attitudes to energy and climate change, shows continued growth in support for on-shore wind to a record high of 76%. It also reports that eight out of ten of those surveyed agreed that renewable energy developments should provide direct benefits to the communities in which they are located. The self evident premise upon which the Allt Dearg and Sròndoire projects pioneered local and community ownership. In addition to the direct community benefit funding, the wind farms support four local jobs directly, pay around £150k in local rates annually and supply around 13% of Argyll and Bute’s total annual electricity requirements.