Sròndoire Community Wind Farm
The Sròndoire Community Wind Farm is a 6MW, three turbine wind farm. The project was developed by Ormsary and Stronachullin Estates, and is a sister project, adjacent to Allt Dearg.
The Sròndoire Community Wind Farm proposal received approval from the Argyll & Bute Council Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee on Wednesday 23rd October 2013. The Council's Planning Officer had recommended approval and the application received widespread support.
An amendment to increase two of the towers from 70m to 80m was approved in June 2014, and the formal planning permission consent was issued on 30th July 2014. The consent is for one turbine at 100m tip height (60m tower) and 120m tip heights for the two northern turbines which sit at lower altitudes.
The projected performance of Sròndoire, shows a similar capacity factor to Allt Dearg, which makes it one of the United Kingdom’s most productive wind farms.
The Sròndoire Community Wind Farm follows the successful local ownership model of Allt Dearg, with 1/12th shares of the project being owned by both the neighbouring Tarbert & Skipness and Kilfinan communities. As at Allt Dearg, the cost of the community buy-in to secure approximately a 1/6th 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 their neighbouring local community. This discounted valuation greatly increases the return on investment to the communities, and as with Allt Dearg sets the project apart from other joint community ownership models, where the commercial developer seeks to recover the substantial market value of the consented site from the community investor.
Construction work started on the 20th June 2014, work was paused over the winter and restarted in January 2015. The wind farm entered full operational service in November 2015.
Funding arrangements with Temporis Capital LLP were entered into on Thursday 13th November 2014. Sròndoire was the first project to benefit from a new non-bank lending platform backed by global investment firm KKR, and the Green Investment Bank, then owned by UK Government.
The community owners in the form of Tighnabruaich Community Renewables Ltd and Tarbert & Skipness Renewables Ltd secured independent long term debt funding through the Scottish Government's Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) and invested in the Community Wind Farm in February 2015.
Sròndoire Community Wind Farm was constructed in parallel with a new twin intake run-of-river 500kW hydro scheme at Stronachullin. The hydro scheme is separately owned from the wind farm, and shares electrical use of the Sròndoire substation and connection to the SSE grid network. The original 1936 hydro scheme on the Stronachullin Burn powered Stronachullin Estate until the arrival of "main's" power from the hydro board in the 1950s.