First charity partnership wind farm launches in Borders

New affordable homes to be built using wind power profits in south of Scotland 

HOUSING and energy charities have united to fund and begin to build a new wind farm located in the Scottish Borders.

The project in Berwickshire will be Scotland’s first wind farm to be created through a partnership between two charities and has concluded the final stages of its financing package.

The Hoprigshiels wind farm project will initially have three 2.5 mega watt wind turbines designed by Nordex SE, a German company that designs, sells and manufactures wind turbines based in Hamburg but headquartered in Rostock.

The enterprise is also unique for having been financed by ethical and sustainable bank Triodos and the Scottish Investment Bank’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF).

"The revenue generated by the wind farm will enable us to build around 20 homes a year for the next 25 years – about 500 in total." Helen Forsyth

Andrew Smith, REIF head, said: "This is exactly the type of project REIF was set up to support. This is a strong commercial investment opportunity allowing REIF to help deliver a project of significant scale. 

"Significant social and economic outputs will be achieved using the surpluses from the scheme and, importantly, all the income from this project will be used for social or charitable purposes."

The wind farm, when completed, will supply over 25 years worth of electricity to the National Grid and the revenues from the sale of its power will be used to finance the other projects of both charities.

Among these will be the building of up to 20 homes using the proceeds from the wind farm.

Completion of the build is expected towards the end of this year and this week completion of its turbine foundations was also achieved.

This is also the latest in a long line of local scale renewable energy projects that Triodos bank has supported – earlier this month it helped a community in Bristol establish a £10m solar park. 

"This is exactly the type of project REIF was set up to support. This is a strong commercial investment opportunity allowing REIF to help deliver a project of significant scale." Andrew Smith

Both charities Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) and Community Energy Scotland (CES), will be forming a joint venture company called Berwickshire Community Renewables.

Helen Forsyth, chief executive, BHA, said: "We are absolutely delighted that we have been able to see the construction of the wind farm start on site at Hoprigshiels. 

"The revenue generated by the wind farm will enable us to build around 20 homes a year for the next 25 years – about 500 in total. 

Working with an experienced community wind farm developer like Community Energy Scotland has been a great experience for us and we couldn’t have done this without them."

Community Energy Scotland, whose purpose is to help market, finance and advise communities with their community energy projects, is enthusiastic about expansion and replication of the project.

Nicholas Gubbins, chief executive, CES, said: "Having helped many community groups install their own renewable energy projects over the past eight years, it’s fantastic that we now have our own project underway – and it’s even better that we have done this in partnership with another like-minded charity."

Picture courtesy of Danish Wind Power Industry Association 

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Comments

SoupCruncher

Wed, 08/17/2016 - 12:58

I loath the term "Affordable Homes". Affordable is fine if you have money! What about the really needy?

Narayan

Thu, 08/18/2016 - 19:19

The reason so many people cannot afford homes is partly because the lack of them has made them so unaffordable. (That, overpopulation, and the fact that landlords are allowed to own so many)

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