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by Liam Kirkaldy
16 June 2015
Communities receive record wind investment

Communities receive record wind investment

Windfarms across Scotland are paying out a record £8.8m every year to local communities, according to new figures, released by Community Land Scotland.

Communities have so far received funding for a range of projects including a new community hall, a community kitchen and a thermal imaging camera.

Funding came from small 500kW projects up to the largest entry, the Whitelee windfarm, at 539MW.

Chris Morris of Local Energy Scotland said: “The Register shows not just the financial value of Community Benefit funds, providing sustainable income to Scottish communities every year, but also shows what can be achieved with the revenue.

“We strongly encourage developers and communities alike to visit the Register and browse the information available, and of course upload information of any schemes in which they are involved.”

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Community Benefit payments are just a part of the overall picture here: onshore wind in Scotland is delivering clean energy and jobs and investment, as well as helping meet our 2020 climate change targets.

“Onshore wind employs almost 3,400 people in Scotland, and latest figures show that the sector invested more than £700 million in the country in the year to September 2014. Community Benefit payments, which can last for up to 20 years, are just part of that picture – but they’re a part which is increasingly important to some of Scotland’s most remote areas.”

Environmental campaigners welcomed the news, with Friends of the Earth director Dr Richard Dixon saying: “Communities across Scotland are benefiting from renewable energy schemes in their area.

“Communities should be encouraged to take ownership of these projects so that they further benefit from the transition away from dirty energy. Community ownership allows people to have control over their energy future and builds broader support for renewables.”

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