South Lanarkshire residents are being offered the chance to buy a stake in a local wind farm, after a new community benefit society launched a share offer.
Auchrobert Community Energy Society has been set up to enable people to own a stake in the Auchrobert Wind Farm south east of Strathaven and hopes to raise £1,500,000 through it.
Working with social enterprise Energy4All, the society is offering local people in South Lanarkshire and renewable energy supporters nationwide the chance to purchase shares in the wind farm from as little as £100. Share interest will be paid on an annual basis, and will vary from year to year dependent on the amount of energy produced by the wind farm.
Developed and built by Falck Renewables Wind Ltd, the Auchrobert wind farm has 12 3.2MW wind turbines with a total export capacity of 36MW. It is expected to produce enough clean energy annually to power approximately 26,000 homes.
Auchrobert Community Benefit Society director Jim Lee said: “We have recruited local directors to run the society who will be helping to encourage as many local people as possible get involved in this share offer. Looking to the future we plan to create a fund for the benefit of the local community closest to the wind farm site.”
Erin Hunter, community relations manager at Falck Renewables, said: “One of our main aims over the years has always been to give local people the chance to have a stake in their local wind farm. Similar schemes are in place at most of our wind farms in the UK and we are delighted to offer the residents of South Lanarkshire the same opportunity.”
Since 2006, 3,300 people have invested a total of over £9.4 million in six of Falck Renewables’ wind farms across Scotland. £5.5 million has been distributed in dividends.