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Wind projects forecast to benefit communities £400k annually

Three community councils are being lined up to secure the lion’s share of the community benefit from the three wind farms Orkney Islands Council plans to run.

The proposed divvy-out was agreed at Tuesday’s policy and resources committee.

It follows a public consultation and is subject to a review of the scheme after two years of operation.
OIC is looking to develop turbine sites at Quanterness, near Kirkwall; Wee Fea, on Hoy; and Faray, in the North Isles.

Based on the Scottish Government guidance of £5,000 per megawatt of power, they are expected to yield £432,000 per year in community benefit.

Kirsty Groundwater, OIC communications team leader, told the committee 10 options had been drawn up following the consultation.

The preferred one was for community councils to manage the funds, with 20 per cent earmarked for each of the host areas, Eday, Hoy and Kirkwall/St Ola. The remaining 40 per cent would be split on a population basis to the island’s other community councils, with none receiving less than £5,000 per year.