By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Swedish energy company Vattenfall has celebrated the official opening of the Clashindarroch Wind Farm with the first awards from the community fund.
Community groups from Huntly, Strathbogie, Tap o’ Noth, Glass and the Cabrach received almost £40,000 from the £185,000 a year fund, which opened to applications earlier this year and is set to run for the next 25 years.
Magnus Hall, President, Vattenfall, said: “Vattenfall is driving towards a sustainable power supply and we want to take the communities where we operate with us. Clashindarroch Wind Farm hits the mark on both counts.
“We don’t just want our wind farms to be good for the environment but good for the community too – that’s why we invest in wind energy and why we look forward to a long and successful relationship with the people of Huntly, Strathbogie, Tap o’ Noth, Glass and the Cabrach.”
Alison McPherson, Friends of Insch Hospital & Community, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this funding from the Clashindarroch Community Fund. This will enable us to introduce a variety of new activities and supports to Rhynie and the surrounding communities.”
Gunnar Groebler, Head of Business Area Wind, Vattenfall, said: “Vattenfall is pressing ahead with the development of on and offshore wind as we work towards significantly cutting carbon emissions from our operations. At the heart of our strategy is the idea that we grow in partnership with communities and stakeholders.
“In fact, Clashindarroch Wind Farm demonstrates our intent to deliver significant economic benefit to the UK through our investments in wind power. We estimate that of the £62m it cost to build the wind farm, 34% went to Scottish firms and nearly 50% to British firms – a good outcome for UK plc.”
Clashindarroch Wind Farm, constructed, owned and operated by Vattenfall, is an 18-turbine scheme. At 36.9MW it is expected to produce enough power to meet the annual needs of 27,068 households, more than 20% of homes around Huntly in Aberdeenshire.
In an average year Clashindarroch Wind Farm will save 49,000 tonnes of CO2 , the same as the Aberdeenshire per capita carbon footprint of more than 4,000.