Renewables developer Eurowind has revised its offer to communities surrounding the proposed Nathro Hill Wind Farm.
The combination of a benefit fund alongside a share ownership in the project could now boost community profits to over £1.4m a year during the 25 year lifespan of the project.
Last year Eurowind had offered the option of either a community benefit fund or a Joint Venture whereby a community body would own a 1/17th share in the 17 turbine project. However following consultation with surrounding communities, Eurowind has now decided to offer both a fund and a Joint Venture option together. The fund would be equivalent to £5k for every MW of installed wind capacity of the 60 MW wind farm. In combination with a Joint Venture this could provide a net profit to the community of over £700k a year in the early stages of the wind farm’s life, rising to over £1.4 million a year in later stages.
As well as the community’s financial benefit, it is expected that up to 39 full-time equivalent jobs would be required to operate and maintain the project which would generate a further £15.5 million of economic benefit within the local economy during it’s 25 year lifespan.
Eurowind director, Ian Lindsay, said: “This is a transformational opportunity for local communities to harness the exceptional wind resource of the area to secure a future for generations to come. Nathro Hill is one of the best sites in the country for a wind farm, so a project on this scale should be able to offer the gold standard of partnership working and community benefit. Our on-going discussions with surrounding communities have been very positive, but there was a strong call for a benefit fund alongside a Joint Venture which we have now answered. We will be continuing negotiations in the coming months, aiming for a formal partnership that will serve the 25 year lifespan of the project should it be consented.”
The decision to grant planning permission for the 17-turbine farm will be made by the Scottish Government.