Attribution: Image by Thierry Milherou from Pixabay
Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society is grateful to have the permission of James Miller, the author; Birlinn, the publishers; and Scottish Hydro-Electric (the successors to The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board) to reproduce extracts from The Dam Builders which are appropriate to the locality.
Wind power is the fastest growing renewable source of energy in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has a target of generating 31% of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2011 and 50% by 2020.
Two onshore windfarms have been established in Ross-shire and others are planned as of 2010.
Scotland’s first offshore turbine was installed in 44 metres of water, 15 miles off the coast, in the Moray Firth in August 2006, followed by a second in 2007. These offshore turbines each have a capacity of 5 megawatts (typical onshore turbines have a capacity of 2mw).
Two established onshore windfarms in Ross-shire are located at:
NOVAR – EVANTON
FAIRBURN – STRATHCONON
Associated with the above windfarms, the developers established funds for Community Benefit. These funds provide grants to voluntary organisations within communities adjacent to the windfarm to undertake deserving projects.
In the case of Fairburn the Community Benefit is derived from:
(1) a fixed element based on the installed capacity of the windfarm;
(2) a variable element based on the actual output generated each year and the associated value of the Government’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC).
The installed capacity figure is £2,000 per megawatt installed, giving a sum of 20 turbines x 2mw x £2,000 = £80,000 per annum. The variable element figure could be equal to the fixed element.
The distribution of the fund is in two phases:
(1) the construction phase (two years’ duration)
(2) the operating phase (twenty-five years’ duration).
The beneficiaries of the first phase are:
1. Marybank, Scatwell and Strathconon £57,500
2. Muir of Ord £37,500
3. Conon Bridge £25,000
4. Contin £10,000
5. Ferintosh £10,000
6. Killearnan £10,000
7. Maryburgh £10,000
The second phase beneficiaries:
1. Marybank, Scatwell and Strathconon
2. Muir of Ord
The second phase fund will be in excess of £2m over the 25 year period.
The Fund will be managed by The Scottish Community Foundation in association with a local committee.