Wind turbines to generate £15.6m of community benefit

6.9-megawatt scheme funded by Triodos Bank and the  Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF)

After eleven years of planning and development, plus construction over the past year, Fyne Energy’s Director Colin Renfrew welcomed Paul Wheelhouse to the Auchadaduie development  on the Kintyre Peninsula.  The Minister also met with members of the local community along with those involved in supporting the development which has started producing energy estimated to generate £15.6 million of community and charitable benefit over the next 20 years.

The project was born from the motivation that communities in Scotland could and should be able to generate income for community benefit from renewables as was initiated by Fyne Homes and the Fyne Group.  The Scottish Government has supported the project as one of a number of pilots to enable Housing Associations to develop renewable projects to generate income for reinvestment in affordable housing and community priorities.

The wind energy project has been realised with £10.80m investment from Triodos Bank, the UK’s leading sustainable bank and £2.82m from REIF. 

The project will see a financial windfall for the local community.

Colin Renfrew, Chief Executive at Fyne Homes and Fyne Energy Director said: “The Fyne Group are delighted that the three turbines are now producing energy, providing a long term income which will enable the Fyne Group and the Glenbarr Community Development Association to reinvest in our charitable objectives for social housing, local employment sustainability, and local priorities.”

Fyne Energy’s three turbines  are anticipated to generate an average of £750k community benefit income per annum.  The community benefit funding will be distributed equally to three community initiatives:

  • one third will support social housing charitable objectives led by Fyne Homes;
  • one third will support charitable employability and environmental priorities led by Fyne Futures, and;
  • one third will be invested in local priorities.

Glenbarr residents have recently established their own Community Development Association and undertaken outreach work across the area to identify priorities for the local investment.  The Community Investment Plan includes support for developing woodlands and environmental projects and employment opportunities.  The need for investment in local community facilities was also highlighted, including community meeting space, play facilities, road safety and transport provision.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the Fyne Homes project through our flagship Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) delivered on our behalf by Local Energy Scotland. Community benefit is a valuable source of income for local communities located near renewable developments, and it is fantastic that this project will generate significant benefits for Argyll and Bute residents for many years to come, while also providing new revenue to support Fyne Homes’ investment programme to meet local housing priorities.”