MUIRHALL Energy has unveiled the UK’s largest Community Investment Fund as part of plans for a new wind farm in the Scottish Borders.
The Scottish renewables developer has confirmed that the proposed Teviot Wind Farm development, 10km south of Hawick, could generate an annual community investment of £3.6 million, equivalent to £10,000 a day, every day for 40 years from the community benefit arrangements for the windfarm. That would realise £144 million for the area over the lifetime of the project.
The Teviot Community Investment Fund would deliver a source of funding for communities across Teviotdale to spend on projects they prioritise such as job creation, training opportunities, improved amenities and sports facilities or environmental enhancements.
In addition to the Teviot Community Investment Fund, Muirhall Energy will offer local communities a shared ownership opportunity, which could see local groups become the biggest community investors in renewable energy anywhere in the UK, thereby generating further significant revenues to be invested locally.
Jamie Leslie, Project Manager at Muirhall Energy, said: “Muirhall Energy believes that those living closest to our developments should benefit directly from them. Other Muirhall Energy projects have delivered high-speed broadband, provided training initiatives for young people and helped community groups deal with the huge impact of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are committed to delivering an industry-leading Community Investment Fund from Teviot Wind Farm. We believe that Teviot Wind Farm is a truly innovative and socially-equitable development that offers an opportunity for local people to become part owners of the project and to benefit directly from the revenues generated.”
The Teviot Wind Farm, consisting of up to 75 turbines, would be sited in an area classed by Scottish Borders Council as having the potential for wind farm development in its local development plan.
To help achieve the Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions, the Teviot Wind Farm would generate the equivalent annual electricity consumption of 460,000 homes and displace 750,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Alternatively, energy from the Teviot Wind Farm could charge an estimated 717,000 electric vehicles a year as the nation transitions to cleaner transport options.
Muirhall Energy is also opening an office in the old Post Office building in Hawick which will be a convenient point of contact for people and businesses locally.
The renewables developer has also committed to placing work on the Teviot Wind Farm site with local contractors who tender within 10 per cent of the best quote for any work on the project.
Jamie Leslie added: “The Teviot Wind Farm will bring significant inward investment to local villages such as Teviothead, and Denholm, as well as the larger town of Hawick. We intend to work with local people to deliver genuine and meaningful opportunities. As part of our pledge to the local community, we will place work on the project with local contractors wherever possible through our ‘local first’ procurement policy.”