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Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands officially opens Fyne Energy’s three wind turbines development

The development which has started producing energy estimated to generate £15.6 million of community and charitable benefit over the next 20 years.

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After 11 years of planning and development, plus construction over the past year, Fyne Energy’s Director Colin Renfrew welcomed Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands Paul Wheelhouse to its Auchadaduie turbine development on the Kintyre Peninsula. The minister also met members of the local community and those involved in supporting the development. 

The development has started producing energy estimated to generate £15.6 million of community and charitable benefit over the next 20 years.

The project was born from the belief that communities in Scotland could and should be able to generate income for community benefit from renewables as was initiated by Fyne Homes and the Fyne Group. The Scottish Government has supported the project as one of several pilots to enable housing associations to develop renewable projects to generate income for reinvestment in affordable housing and community priorities.

The wind energy project has been realised with £10.80 million investment from Triodos Bank, the UK’s leading sustainable bank and £2.82 million from REIF. 

Colin Renfrew, Chief Executive at Fyne Homes and Fyne Energy Director said: “The Fyne Group is delighted that the three turbines are now producing energy, providing a long-term income that will enable the Fyne Group and the Glenbarr Community Development Association to reinvest in our charitable objectives for social housing, local employment sustainability, and local priorities.”

Fyne Energy’s three turbines are anticipated to generate an average of £750,000 community benefit income per annum. The community benefit funding will be distributed equally to three community initiatives:

  • one third will support social housing charitable objectives led by Fyne Homes;
  • one third will support charitable employability and environmental priorities led by Fyne Futures
  • one third will be invested in local priorities.

Glenbarr residents have recently established their own Community Development Association and undertaken outreach work across the area to identify priorities for the local investment.  The Community Investment Plan includes support for developing woodlands and environmental projects and employment opportunities. The need for investment in local community facilities was also highlighted, including community meeting space, play facilities, road safety and transport provision.

Norrie Cruickshank, Relationship Manager at Triodos Bank, said: “Fyne Energy’s three turbines will generate income to tackle two pressing issues at the same time – affordable housing and clean energy.

“At Triodos, we work to make sure organisations like Fyne get the funding and financial support they need to have a positive impact on the local community. It’s the determination and innovative thinking of everyone at Fyne Homes that will help create a better world for us all.”

Community Renewables can, and have, made a signicicant impact in communities across Scotland, such as West Harris, Gigha and Tiree, with reinvestment in local infrastructure and a range of community benefits. This project offers an opportunity to generate significant income for reinvestment in community benefits across Argyll and Bute, tackling some of the priority issues for the area such as depopulation through provision of affordable housing and local employment opportunities.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the Fyne Homes project through our flagship Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), delivered on our behalf by Local Energy Scotland.

“Community benefit is a valuable source of income for local communities located near renewable developments, and it is fantastic that this project will generate significant benefits for Argyll and Bute residents for many years to come, while also providing new revenue to support Fyne Homes’ investment programme to meet local housing priorities.”

From Turbine 1 at Auchadaduie you can look across to see the four dancing ladies on the Isle of Gigha, wind turbines which generate income for reinvestment in the island’s housing. Alan Hobbett, previously of Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust, encouraged Fyne Homes to consider renewable developments as an income generator for housing. The project has been developed by Fyne Futures, with support from Fyne Homes, the parent company which established Fyne Energy which owns and operate the turbines.