Wind farm company wins award for local project

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THE COMPANY behind the proposal to create a seven turbine wind farm between Arbroath and Carnoustie have already won an award for the project.

West Coast Energy won the community engagement category at the inaugural RenewableUK Energy Awards for the Corse Hill wind farm.

This is before the plans have even been given permission from Angus Council.

The wind farm is proposed to be located next to the Hatton water treatment works, with one turbine dedicated to the community.

Whatever profits this turbine generates, it will be ploughed back into community organisations in the Arbroath and Carnoustie area.

A forum independently chaired by David Sawers, former chief executive of Angus Council has been set up, and attended by a variety of community councils and residents groups.

An agreement was reached in May on the fair apportionment of the money resulting from the community turbine, and the establishment of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to facilitate the funds, should the proposal receive planning consent.

And Steve Salt, planning and development director for West Coast Energy was pleased with the award.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this award. At the heart of our business is a commitment to the principle that local communities should benefit from the generation of local renewable energy in their area.

“We aim to be an industry leader when it comes to community benefit, so it is fantastic to see our commitment to these communities rewarded within the renewable energy sector.”

While David Sawers added: “I am very pleased that the Corse Hill wind farm project has been recognised for its level of extensive community engagement by RenewableUK Energy.

“I certainly feel that their innovative approach to community engagement and their determination to deliver the benefits of the community turbine is something which puts them at the forefront of community engagement and involvement with regard to wind farm projects.”