Construction is now underway on Cairnborrow Wind Farm, a 5 turbine, 10MW development near Huntly in Aberdeenshire.
The project, developed by West Coast Energy and under construction by parent company ENGIE, received consent from Aberdeenshire Council in August 2014, with consent for a fifth turbine given in June of this year. Construction began on the 3rd August and is expected to be completed by late 2016.
Paul Vernon, project manager, West Coast Energy, said: “Cairnborrow is a significant renewable energy development for Aberdeenshire: as well as making an important contribution to Scotland’s carbon reduction targets, and providing circa £13,000,000 pounds of infrastructure investment, the local community will also benefit via our community benefit funding commitment.
“We hope to complete the construction of the wind farm as quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise any potential disruption to local people.”
Over the anticipated 25-year lifespan of the project the local community will receive the higher of a guaranteed payment of £5,000 per year for each megawatt of installed generation capacity or 10% of the profits from the wind farm as a community benefit fund, a minimum of £1,250,000 over the life of the windfarm.
The funding is to be administered via the company’s partnership with the Huntly Development Trust, which will work with local communities to ensure that the payments from the wind farm are invested in agreed schemes and initiatives.
Part of the community benefit fund is also to be targeted towards initiatives that help tackle fuel poverty in the region. West Coast Energy will work in partnership with charity Energy Action Scotland (EAS), Aberdeenshire Council, the Huntly Development Trust, as well as other local groups, with the aim of targeting a proportion of the wind farm’s community fund towards the area’s fuel poverty issues.
The wind farm is to be operated by ENGIE and once operational is expected to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of over 6,300 homes per year.