A Highland community organisation is poised for a windfall of up to £1million from a windfarm development near Loch Ness.
Soirbheas, set up by people living in Glen Urquhart and Strathglass, has raised £550,000 to invest in a five-turbine project on nearby Corrimony Farm.
The group will have a 20% stake in the £14.5million windfarm, which is expected to be operational next year. In return for its involvement, Soirbheas will receive an estimated £1million over 10 years to be used for community projects.
The development is being led by Corrimony Energy, owned by the Girvan family, which will connect the windfarm to the national grid at Fasnakyle power station.
Soirbheas chairwoman Tanya Castell said the fact the project was so close to completion was a great testament to many people, adding: “This project, which is set to earn our communities a valuable revenue stream over the next two decades, will allow us to make a positive impact on climate change by harnessing natural local resources and using them to directly benefit the whole community, delivering significant opportunities for social and economic benefit.”
Most of Soirbheas’s contribution to the windfarm was thanks to £500,000 of funding from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), which provides loan finance to community enterprises and social businesses.
SIS chief executive Alastair Davis said: “Soirbheas has had a strong vision for community resilience since it was formed in 2009. Its dedication to transforming the lives of the local community must be commended.
“The proceeds from this windfarm will be extremely important in both securing the future of the region, while contributing towards the (Scottish) Government’s objectives for renewable energy.”
SSE Renewables said yesterday Highland companies could win contracts worth more than £110million for work associated with two north windfarm projects. The utility firm said it had submitted planning applications for both the Stronelairg proposal near Fort Augustus and the Bhlaraidh farm north-west of Invermoriston.