Dealing with energy issues
The need for more renewable energy sources is greater than ever. Climate change, increasing power prices and fears over security of supply have put the issue of energy high in everyone’s mind. National and regional authorities acknowledge that renewable energy is an important solution to meet the challenges of our modern lifestyle and its high energy demands.
Infinergy believes that the local community should benefit from the development of a wind farm. For instance, a wind farm that moves to the construction stage can create opportunities for local contractors. Furthermore we are keen to support the community on local initiatives. Therefore we would like to set up a trust fund which will be managed by local authorities and community members. Infinergy will donate revenue from the project to the fund..
It is intended that this fund will be managed by the communities around the wind farm. Therefore it will be up to the local residents to decide how the money is best invested back into the surrounding area. During the public consultations, Infinergy discussed with local people their views on initiatives that could benefit from the community fund. Following on from this, the following initiatives were identified:
- Strengthening local tourism by encouraging and promoting access to the estate. Promoting and encouraging access is seen by many as one of the key routes to economic regeneration;
- Wider regeneration of the Cabrach, including local employment, refurbishment of existing housing and new affordable housing;
- Community Benefit Fund. Traditional cash sum paid annually into a trust fund to support the wider local communities of Dufftown, Glenrinnes, Glenlivet and Cabrach, for the 25 year life time of the wind farm, to fund local projects.
Altogether, the community benefit package amounts to over £10m over the life of the wind farm or over £4000 per MW of installed capacity.
With the redesign process, the new Dorenell Wind Farm Variation and Extension will provide an industry leading figure of £5000 per MW installed capacity into the community benefit fund, amounting to nearly £25m over the life time of the wind farm allowing the communities to develop further initiatives to help them thrive and sustain them in the long term.
Managing the Land
In addition to the benefits to local communities, benefits for the land and environment on and around the site will also be included:
- Fisheries Management Plan in conjunction with the Deveron and Spey Fisheries Trusts and Boards;
- Habitat Management Plan (HMP) developed in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage, is designed to preserve and enhance wildlife habitats on the wind farm site and the wider Glenfiddich estate; and
- Access Management Plan (AMP) developed in conjunction with the Moray Council and Moray LOAF to ensure access is still possible during the construction period and that a plan for wider access is in place for the future.