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Lanarkshire Wind Project Gets Second Visit

Lesmahagow community to benefit from Marshill turbines

Scottish farmers are being invited to re-visit a Lanarkshire wind energy project set to benefit the local community.

The project, being established by Andrew Stewart at Marshill near Lesmahagow consists of a single Enercon E-82 (2.3MW) turbine and two Enercon E48 (800kw) turbines with a total generating capacity of 3.9MW.  

Andrew has a 75 percent stake in the turbines and, courtesy of the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF), the remaining 25 percent stake is held by Lesmahagow Development Trust.  This has the potential to return several million into the local community over the next 25 years.

Construction of the project is currently in the final stages and Andrew is opening his gates to interested farmers on Thursday 21 May.  This will be NFU Scotland Renewable Development Initiative’s second visit to Marshill, having seen the project in its early stages in February 2014. The RDI open day will give farmers an opportunity to see the challenges Andrew has faced.   It starts in the Fountain Hall, Lesmahagow, ML11 0HD at 10.00am with presentations on grid connection, CARES and REIF followed by the farm visit in the afternoon.

The Union’s three-year RDI project is designed to provide sound, independent advice to farmers and land managers across Scotland on renewable energy.  Through a programme of on-farm events, co-ordinated by Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore, 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 and 2015 looked at wind, solar, biomass, gasification, hydro, biodiesel, heat pumps and anaerobic digestion.  Further on-farm events looking at hydro, wind energy, biomass and solar are being planned for Argyll and Ayrshire later this summer.

Speaking ahead of the event, Andrew said: “I have close ties with the Lesmahagow community, having been born and brought up in the area.  From inception, I planned to gift Lesmahagow Development Trust (LDT) a small stake in this wind farm project.   However, establishment of the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) gave LDT access to loan capital, which they were able to use to secure a much larger stake.  

“By virtue of the LDT’s share in the project, several million will be invested in the local community over the next 25 years.

“It is a big investment for us but it has the potential to bring significant returns to our business. For us to make the same potential profit from these three turbines, I estimate that we would require 4,000 acres of wheat or 1,200 milking cows.”

Notes to Editors

  • Marshill Farm is a 700 acre livestock farm with approximately 400 dairy cows. The farm grows around 150 acres of spring barley, while grass is grown on the remaining acreage for cattle grazing and silage production. Andrew Stewart became aware of the wind turbine development opportunity when he was approached by a wind developer but was not keen to lease the land due to the poor rates being offered.  He decided to undertake the project himself and having secured planning and grid connection is in the process of constructing three wind turbines.
  • Photographs of Andrew Stewart and the turbines under construction are available from media@nfus.org.uk
  • RDI events are FREE to farmers and land managers to attend. If you would like to book a space or join the mailing list, please email rebecca.bell@smithsgore.co.uk  or telephone: 0131 344 0888.   More details on our Renewables Development Initiative at: http://www.renewableenergyonfarms.co.uk/

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 88/15


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