Community Benefit

If approved, E Power is also committed to providing a community benefit fund equivalent to £5,000 per megawatt of installed capacity per year. Based on a generating capacity of 129.6MW, this would translate to an annual community benefit fund of £648,000 and £22.6 million over the 35-year life of the project.

The community benefits package that we will develop shall be tailored to meet the requests from the local community as well as our legal requirements. We will continue to consult with the local community to develop a suitable community benefits package through the pre-application and application stages of the development using the Scottish Government’s best practice guidance.

Examples from Ireland
For instance, Invis Energy, a leading renewable energy provider in Ireland and an associated company of E Power, developed a wind farm in County Clare, Ireland, comprising 18 wind turbines with a capacity of 45MW. For this project, four local parishes were identified to have direct impact by the proposed development during the pre-application phase. Through a series of consultation meetings with parishes on an individual basis, a community benefits package was developed that front loaded the investment during the construction phase in order for big capital projects to be funded in the early stages of the ongoing relationship. Capital projects included the construction of a community hall, visitor centre and all weather pitch.

This approach differs from another Invis operational wind farm development located in county Galway, Ireland comprising 11 wind turbines with a capacity of 35MW, primarily within commercial forest owned by Coillte (Irish state forestry company). The community benefit package is based on a “Near Neighbour Scheme”. At planning stage, a commitment was given that an annual fund would be available during the operational phase. It was suggested that it would be distributed between the occupied houses within 1.5km and following consultation with local community representatives in April 2018, it was agreed to proceed with the proposal. This provides an annual contribution to those living closest to the wind farm where there was no obvious community initiative to distribute the fund to.

These examples are a small selection of bespoke approaches that have been previously adopted that highlight our commitment to community consultation and community benefits. E Power Ltd, will continue to develop and initiate tailored community engagement and benefit packages that meets the needs of the communities and individuals that the proposed development will affect.