The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) from Local Energy Scotland supports both local communities and rural businesses with projects that ‘give something back’.
Argyllshire farmer Robert Hamilton’s proposed construction of two Endurance X35 wind turbines near Helensburgh is a development that the CARES scheme is supporting and from which the neighbouring community will benefit.
Located near to the Navy base at Faslane. Hamilton’s project is an example of the many family farming businesses that are looking towards wind energy and land diversification to survive these economically challenging times.
The project is being supported by his agent, Ayrshire-based renewable energy company VG Energy and its associate planning and environmental partners, VG Consulting.
Dave Anderson, Managing Director, VG Consulting, explained: “The proposed two Endurance X35 wind turbines are a fantastic example of land diversification being able to offer a sustainable future to the farm industry.
“Renewable energy is one way for farmers to create economically viable futures, and with the support from the CARES scheme the community benefits are an added bonus.”
“The current planning application submission addresses all criteria for a project of this kind. VG Energy has proposed wind turbines that will deliver an energy independent future for the farm and our planning consultants provided the review and assessments.
“One site challenge was to be sympathetic to the signature views of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and Argyll surrounding area.
“Our landscape and visual impact consultants deliberately positioned the turbines to backdrop the lower hill slopes that encompass the area around Helensburgh and therefore avoid intruding on the landscape.
“Additionally, we delivered planning services that included habitat work for ecology, a background noise assessment and all planning work for the screening opinion and planning application.”
The two proposed Endurance X35 wind turbines have a rated output of 225kW each and Steven Rawding, Managing Director, VG Energy, explained the reasons behind the turbine choice.
He said: “In the small-to-medium wind market, the Endurance X35s provide an affordable and healthy energy output for farming businesses. The reliability of these models is exceptional as well as providing an impressive average total annual output of 500 kilowatts, per turbine.
“We have delivered many of these models to various clients and the 25 year operational lifespan delivers a sustainable way forward for Mr. Hamilton’s farm business.
“We are encouraged to think that in times of uncertainty for the farming community, due to farm subsidy cuts and changes that Brexit may bring, Mr. Hamilton has a sustainable plan.
“The support from the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is invaluable to projects like this and I am personally delighted knowing that the turbines will aim to provide local community youth project – Route 81 – with around £4,500 per annum.”
VG Energy and VG Consulting provide a full-cycle energy plan service to agricultural and commercial business clients. Working from design through to post-construction, they have successfully delivered planning, installation and after-care support to over 500 turbines and customers.
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