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Co-operative Approach Pays Dividends in Dingwall

Farmers invited to view ground-breaking wind project

Scottish farmers are being invited to visit the first 100 percent co-operatively owned wind development in Scotland at Dingwall next week (Wednesday, 10 December).

As part of NFU Scotland’s Renewables Development Initiative (RDI), farmers will be able to visit the 250kW wind turbine commissioned in June this year by the 179 members of the Dingwall Wind Co-op. Through the turbine, the co-op will contribute to a community fund estimated at between £2000 and £8000 per year and its members, 90 percent of whom are from the local area, anticipate a good return on their investment (projected at 7.5 percent) and benefit from Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief. The landowners are the Lockett family, who originated the project, and who receive a rental payment for the use of their land.

Members of the co-op along with the Lockett family will be available on the day to discuss the potential of the co-op funding model used and the Seed EIS and EIS opportunities available for other renewable energy projects.  As part of the day there will also be a visit to Dingwall Mart’s 200kW biomass boiler and its 50kW wind turbine.

The RDI, co-ordinated by Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore, is helping Scottish farmers and land managers fulfil their energy generating potential.  Through a programme of on-farm events, the initiative has already shown hundreds of Scottish farmers energy projects that are contributing to farm businesses or are at the planning stage.  On-farm days held in 2014 have looked at wind, solar, biomass, gasification, hydro and anaerobic digestion.

Speaking ahead of the event, Richard Lockett said:
"The project originally came about because it provided a decent rental return for the land that the turbine sits on while spreading the financial benefit of the wind turbine across the whole community.

"Although not a key driver behind the project, the tax benefits of investing in a co-op was a useful factor in attracting investors.  

"Running a successful share option to raise funds was essential for the project to work. We instructed a company called Sharenergy - a not-for-profit organisation which helps communities find, build and own renewable energy generation - and its advice and support was critical.

“If you like the idea of co-operation and are prepared to help it succeed then this may be the approach for you and I am delighted to be able to show others how Dingwall Wind has been set up and established.”    

Notes to Editors

  • The Dingwall Renewables open day will be held at Dingwall Mart, Ross-shire, IV15 9TP on Wednesday 10 December starting at 10.30am.  The morning session will include workshops on setting up the co-operative, securing funding and CARES.  The afternoon session will include visits to Dingwall Wind’s turbine as well as viewing the wind and biomass installations at Dingwall Mart.  The event is free to farmers. To book a place email RDI@smithsgore.co.uk or call Rebecca on 0131 344 0888.
  • A photograph of Dingwall Wind Co-op directors is available on request from media@nfus.org.uk
  • Members of the media are invited to attend.  Please contact media@nfus.org.uk
  • More details on the Dingwall Wind Co-operative can be found on its website at www.dingwallwind.org.uk
  • Details of Richard Lockett’s environmental and conservation work can be found at - www.agri-environmental.co.uk
  • For more information about the Renewable Development Initiative please visit our website: www.renewableenergyonfarms.co.uk

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 184/14


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