Consultation on community benefit from renewable energy developments

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Published Date: 

16 Feb 2015 - 15:26

People in Argyll and Bute will have the opportunity to comment on the council’s new framework for community benefits from onshore renewable developments such as windfarms. This new document sets out guidance that developers and communities should take into account when considering community benefits.

Community benefits are voluntary and can include financial payments or community investment in the particular renewable scheme. This new framework suggests that payments to communities be set at £5,000 per megawatt (MW) of installed capacity per year, that a regional element of funding be introduced and advocates community buy-in to new schemes.

The framework recommends that:

  • Community benefits are provided for all new renewable developments with an installed capacity of 5MW or more and commercial schemes over 50 kilowatts (KW)
  • Community benefits are paid at a minimum of £5,000/MW
  • All benefits are index linked and last the lifetime of the project
  • A community investment option, enabling the community to purchase a share in the renewable energy development, should be offered on all new commercial renewable developments
  • Community benefit funds shall include a local (50%) and regional or sub-regional element (50%). The regional/sub-regional fund will focus on delivering wider community benefit aligning to the priorities set out in community investment plans.

Acting policy lead for economic development, Councillor Ellen Morton, said: ‘’While the council cannot compel developers to follow our new guidelines we will be working very closely with them and are hopeful that they will buy into these principles.

‘’Before finalising the framework we are looking for the views of members of the public, community councils, renewable groups and our other partners in the Argyll and Bute Renewables Alliance (ABRA) so that we come up with a framework which will seek to maximise the local community benefit from future on shore renewable developments and which will be of a useful reference tool for developers and communities alike.’’

‘’The consultation will run from today until Friday 13th March and is available on the council website at:

‘’If you have an interest then please take the time to read the framework and make any constructive comments.’’


The council’s current policy recommends that community benefits are paid at £2,000/MW