Stevenson Hill Wind Energy Ltd, a subsidiary company of the renewable energy developer West Coast Energy Ltd, has submitted a planning application and associated environmental statement for an eight-turbine wind farm at Hag Law in the Borders.
The proposal, for farmland near Romannobridge, provides for the installation of eight wind turbine generators each with a tip height of up to 100m and a generating capacity of up to 2.5 megawatts (MW), giving the wind farm an overall installed capacity of up to 20MW.
The wind farm is projected to generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual domestic electricity consumption equivalent to around 10,937 homes.
The submission follows public exhibitions held in Romannobridge and at nearby West Linton.
Local communities in the area will directly benefit from the generation of renewable energy, and West Coast Energy have proposed that the local community would receive the higher of a guaranteed payment of £5,000 for each megawatt of installed generation capacity or 10% of the profits from the wind farm as a community benefit fund.
Based on an installed capacity of up to 20MW, and allowing for inflation this would mean that the community investment fund would amount to about £4 million over the life of the wind farm.
West Coast Energy are progressing discussions with interested local community councils on how the community benefit fund might best be used to address local needs. Part of the community benefit fund will be targeted towards initiatives that help tackle fuel poverty in the region.
West Coast Energy’s proposal is that for the first five years, 50% of the community fund will be utilised to assist the alleviation of fuel poverty in the local and wider area. A local Community Development Trust will then decide whether to continue targeting fuel poverty or fund other initiatives.
Fuel poverty alleviation will take place through West Coast Energy’s partnership with Energy Action Scotland, the national charity that aims to eradicate fuel poverty and campaigns for greater investment in energy efficiency to help vulnerable consumers.
West Coast Energy will work in partnership with EAS and Borders Council with the aim of targeting the Hag Law Wind Farm’s Community Fund towards the region’s fuel poverty issues.
Steve Salt, Planning and Public Affairs Director at West Coast Energy, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have submitted our planning application for Hag Law Wind Farm to Scottish Borders Council. We look forward to a continued engagement with the community as the application progresses through the planning system”.
Based in Mold, Flintshire, West Coast Energy also has an office in Inverness.