Community Windpower has submitted plans for a new wind farm that would provide a boost to the Green Recovery in southern Scotland and help the region address the Climate Emergency.
Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm, located entirely in Dumfries & Galloway, will see £1.8 billion of economic investment, which will be felt throughout the regional economy, including jobs and community benefits, supporting the Green Recovery.
This is the third Community Windpower renewable energy project in southern Scotland and would see the business invest a total of £4.05 billion and provide enough clean, green energy to power 1.25 million homes.
The project has drawn support from businesses across the region who rely on these infrastructure projects to support thousands of jobs.
Among those are Grange Quarry and Concrete, AMD Contract Services Ltd and RJ McLeod, who directly employ hundreds of people to work on the construction phase of onshore wind farms and many more indirectly in the supply chain.
The scheme itself consists of 75 turbines producing 525MW of clean, green electricity, and will be capable of powering 572,000 homes every year and offsetting 931,000 tones of CO2 every year during its operational lifetime.
Energy storage facilities will be built within the wind farm, ensuring energy is stored away during low demand and provide a more consistent level of power is supplied throughout its 40-year operational lifetime.
Scoop Hill will directly support Scotland’s Climate Emergency Declaration (CED 2019), helping achieve the targets of net zero carbon by 2045.
The project would also allow for the development of a visitor centre and multi-use wind farm walk, providing an ideal opportunity for folk to enjoy the outdoors and gain knowledge about the wind farm.
The Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm Visitor Centre could generate increased tourism and inward investment, benefitting both the local community and the wider Dumfries & Galloway area.
It would act as an educational centre to increase knowledge and awareness of the climate emergency, and how renewable energy projects can help tackle the crisis.
The visitor centre will be subject to a separate planning application and wider consultation.
In addition, £20 million in community benefits will go directly into the local area over the next 40 years.
“Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm will provide huge economic and social benefits to Dumfries and Galloway, both during construction and the 40-year operational lifetime.
“However, the benefits of this project are not just limited to directly supporting jobs during the post-Covid Green Recovery, it will also stimulate wider economic growth across the region and deliver 40 years of inward investment.
“Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm will contribute a total of £262.4m in business rates to Dumfries & Galloway Council. This money can support the provision of vital local services and facilities, in turn helping to improve education, employment and socio economics for the local authority area.
“It also provides an opportunity for the region to become a global leader in green energy projects, which will help kick-start the economy and fuel clean growth.
“Additionally, the opportunity to build a visitor centre for Scoop Hill will further provide significant long-term benefits, including jobs, education facilities, tourism and space to support people’s health and mental wellbeing.
“We will be reaching out to the community and look forward to working with them, which is a fantastic opportunity for local people to utilise the wind farm’s community benefits to make their own aspirations a reality.
“The visitor centre will be run as a not-for-profit venture, with any income directed back to running costs and supporting the local community.”Stuart Walker, community liaison officer at Community Windpower.
“RJ McLeod would like to offer their support for the Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm application because we believe the construction of this project will allow companies like ourselves, and the local supply chain, maintain or increase employee numbers in southern Scotland, and the wider Scottish area.
“Renewable energy projects such as this, allow companies to maintain and increase employment levels and provide real jobs, training, and thus an economic benefit at a local level in areas which are often short of external investment and stimulus.
“A project the size of Scoop Hill Community Wind Farm has the potential to provide a very significant boost to the economy of the south of Scotland, and Scotland as a whole; this is particularly the case during the construction period, not only in direct jobs but also in terms of the extensive and valuable supply chain of sub-contracted goods and services.”A spokesperson for RJ McLeod.