By DARA BUTTERFIELD
The Tullo and Twinshiels Wind Farms community benefit fund has awarded a total of almost £85,000 to 12 local projects in the north east.
The renewable energy company Eneco owns and operate the these two wind farms in The Mearns – the area which straddles north Tayside and Grampian and which was enshrined in modern Scots literature in Grassic Gibbon’s ‘Sunset Song’ trilogy of the fictional Guthrie family in the pre-World War 1 Mearns village of Kinraddie.
The fund available for the 17MW Tullo Wind Farm is £1,000 per megawatt of installed capacity and for the 25MW Twinshiels Wind Farm is £2,750 per megawatt of installed capacity. The Tullo and Twinshiels Wind Farms Community Fund is taken directly from wind farm profits.
This year, as a result of Twinshiels Wind Farm becoming operational in June 2014, the Means Area Partnership has been able to administer larger funds from the community benefit fund.
Warwick-based Eneco’s wind portfolio includes the onshore Tullo and Tullo II Wind Farms, fully operational with a combined generating capacity of 42MW, located in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire; Burn of Whilk Wind Farm (22.5MW) at Wick, Caithness – currently under construction; Moy Wind Farm (60MW) in the Highlands – currently under construction; the Lochluichart Wind Farm (69MW) also in the Highlands – fully operational – and Macritch Hill, a proposed 54MW wind farm at Backwater Reservoir, near Kirriemuir, Angus that is being developed in partnership with Scottish Water.
Susie Brown, Mearns Area Partnership, said: ‘We are pleased to facilitate this funding for local groups which this year attracted over thirty applications.
“The fund has been in place for the last four years and it has made a significant difference to a large number of bodies. We appreciate that those who were unsuccessful will be disappointed but careful consideration was given to each application based on the fund’s criteria. There will be another opportunity to apply next year.”
Applications for funding were assessed for suitability by a panel made up of representatives from Mearns Area Partnership, Kincardineshire Development Partnership and representatives from Arbuthnott, Mearns, Gourdon, Royal Burgh of Inverbervie and Benholm and Johnshaven Community Councils.
The fund is aimed at backing community and voluntary organisations that support children, young people and the vulnerable under the areas of sustainability, health, heritage, regeneration and environmental. The Tullo Wind Farm community benefit fund has been in place since 2011 and, since this latest round of funding, has benefitted more than 50 local projects.