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June 13, 2012

Joint ventures offer something different

Ever since Fintry set the ball rolling, we’ve seen a steady growth in the range of options available to communities wanting to benefit from renewable energy projects. From 100% community owned wind farms all the way through to voluntary ££’s per MW benefit payments made by the developer to community groups.  It was Neilston who pioneered the idea of joint ventures with private developers and now a different type of joint venture is being supported by Community Energy Scotland.


Corrimony wind farm is a joint venture between a local farming family, the Girvans, and Soirbheas, a local development charity covering Glenurquhart and Strathglass 

The project comprises  5 turbines (Enercons) at 2.3 MW each – 11.5 MW in total, with Soirbheas having a 20% share. We have assisted the development of Soirbheas and their engagement in this project over the last 3 years through HIE’s Community Renewable Energy Support Scheme (CRESP).  The construction of the access track starts in July, with turbine bases to be installed in August.  Turbines should be in and running before ROCs go to 0.9 next Spring. As with most projects there have been a lot of ups and downs so this is a great achievement for Soirbheas – and is Community Energy Scotland’s first joint venture developed from scratch. I expect there will be a lot of interest in this project as it shows what can be achieved where there is a strong relationship between a local farming family and community – something the Scottish Government is keen to promote.