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Community Wind Farms Deliver For Rural Argyll

Posted on 12/02/2018 by James Lithgow

Argyll & Bute Council have published details of the Community Benefit payments made by Argyll's Wind Farms in 2017. For the fifth consecutive year Allt Dearg wind farm has set the highest standard for community benefit paid out in Argyll, both in terms of absolute amount and Pounds per MW installed. Whilst Allt Dearg and Sròndoire together now represent less than 5% of the county's installed generation capacity, the community and locally owned wind farms contributed over 38% of the total direct benefit paid out in Argyll.

There are fifteen commercial scale wind farms now operating in Argyll with a total installed generation capacity of 328 MW.  The Council collects annual data on the amount of community benefit payment made by each of these wind farms, in 2017 the total amount received by local communities was £ 662,574, up from £ 536,520 in 2016.  Allt Dearg with an installed generation capacity of 10MW delivered £ 139,077 (up from £ 81,573 in 2016) to the Ardrishaig Community Trust and £32,000 to the Allt Dearg Educational Trust, making it the largest single contributor of Community Benefit in Argyll.  The higher level of community payment reflected the better wind conditions through 2017 and the increased energy sales

The Sròndoire Community Wind Farm made payments to the Community owners, Tighnabruaich Community Renewables Ltd and Tarbert & Skipness Renewables Ltd, of £62,868  and a further payment of £18,000 to the Educational Trust.

Full details of wind farm contributions can be found here.

James Lithgow of Ormsary said: "2017 saw both wind farms generating record levels of power, thanks to good wind conditions and the hard work of our maintenance teams that ensured we could generate maximum power levels when the wind conditions allowed.  For our two wee projects to be delivering over £250,000 of direct community benefit is very satisfying.  We are looking forward to seeing this income invested by our community partners, and the improvements that these funds will bring to us all in Argyll.  These Council figures only record the "direct" community benefit; in addition, Ormsary and Stronachullin, the local land owning partners at Allt Dearg and Sròndoire, deliver indirect spend on local wages and services in the community worth several times the direct benefits".