In one of the first deals of its kind in Scotland, an onshore wind farm has been financed with the goal of targeting fuel poverty in Scotland.
The innovative structure of the deal for the new Pogbie wind farm brings together multiple stakeholders, including Mongoose Energy, the Renewable Energy Investment Fund and Close Brothers Leasing.
The aim of the project is to support the Edinburgh-based not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power in its fuel poverty alleviation aims. The £13 million of debt funding has been secured to allow the acquisition and development of the site.
Once finalised, Pogbie wind farm, near the hamlet of Humbie, will comprise 12 turbines with a total capacity of 9.6 megawatts. Nett surpluses from the project will go towards communities that are suffering fuel poverty via Our Power, and other local causes.
Pogbie wind farm in East Lothian is a collaboration between Our Power and Mongoose Energy, a company which is majority-owned by community groups and was set up in 2014 to develop and manage community energy systems.
The company will be responsible for building the turbines and associated infrastructure, with ownership transferring to a community benefit company, Our Community Energy, on completion in 2018.
Alister Steele, Chairman of Our Power, said: “This deal creates the potential to not only secure local renewable energy in a cost effective way, which will help us deliver our social mission of tackling fuel poverty, but provides the potential for wider community investment in the assets.
“Directly linking renewable generation and not for profit ownership to addressing fuel poverty is a really exciting breakthrough.”
Since its launch in 2015, Wiltshire-based Mongoose Energy has helped bring more than 66 MW of solar power into community ownership, as well as finance more than £70 million of renewable energy projects in the UK.
Mark Kenber, chief executive of Mongoose Energy, commented: “Our mission is to drive community ownership and control of renewable energy generation to create a fair and sustainable energy system.
“We are delighted to be developing Pogbie wind farm which will offer local stakeholders the opportunity to invest directly in the project, contribute to addressing fuel poverty and provide tangible benefits to the local community.”
Chris Rodgers, Head of Energy Finance at Close Brothers Leasing, commented: “This is an exciting deal and one that we are very proud to be a part of.
“The significance of getting this deal agreed in a reduced-subsidy environment should not be underestimated because it sends a strong message that these sorts of agreements are still possible, and – importantly – viable.”
- Green Power chief executive Rob Forrest and EDF’s Scottish nuclear lobbyist David Cameron have been appointed as chairman and vice-chairman respectively of Scottish Renewables.
13 Mar 2018