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CWL plan Public exhibitions for the resubmission of the Hill Rig Community Wind Farm - 21st January

Public Exhibitions for the proposal will be held on Thursday 22nd January at Carluke Lifestyles (3.30pm-8pm) and Friday 23rd January at Carnwath Town Hall (10am-3pm). The exhibitions will provide an opportunity for members of the public and local businesses to come along and learn more about the proposal and the changes to this application. The exhibitions are also a chance for members of the public to suggest ideas to CWL on what sort of community benefits they would like to see community benefit funding be allocated towards if planning was successful.

This resubmission of the application, expected to be lodged in April 2015 includes further additional information on bat surveys, aviation, landscape and visual analysis, habitat management proposals, consultee responses and planning policy. CWL will continue to liaise with local people, local community groups, businesses, community councils, key consultees and local schools during the coming months and when the application is lodged.

The wind farm would bring substantial economic benefits to the local area and to Scotland as a whole. During the construction phase, the wind farm would support over 100 jobs in the construction and supply industry with preference given to local contractors and local companies from the South Lanarkshire region. Two new permanent jobs will also be created in the form of turbine engineers to maintain the wind farm for its lifetime.

The initial construction value of the project is £36 million with contracts available for a variety of civil and electrical work with the main civils contract in the region of £5 million. Once operational, £1.5 million will be locally invested per annum for rates, rents, maintenance, grid connection costs and community benefits. This equates to £38 million over the 25 year life of the wind farm. Subsequently, CWL would like to extend their invite to all local businesses as the Public Exhibitions will be a useful time to learn about the business opportunities the wind farm proposal would deliver.  

CWL focus on the provision of community benefit funding for community projects and is in compliance with the ‘Scottish Government Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments’ published in April 2014 of £5,000 per MW. To date CWL have provided £1.7 million in Community Benefit funding to our host communities of our four operational wind farms and if Hill Rig was granted planning consent, this would provide £140,000 per annum for 25 years. This is equivalent to £3.5 million during the operational life time of the wind farm.

CWL proudly operate a ‘Buy Scottish’ policy which confirms our commitment to Scotland and its green energy industry. This involves active engagement with Scottish civil, electrical and engineering contractors to construct our wind farms as demonstrated at our four operational wind farms. During the construction of our fourth project, Calder Water Community Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire, the following Scottish based companies were awarded civil contracts for the associated works RJ McLeod, Drumclog Plant Hire and Kelburne Construction. Construction of Calder Water Community Wind Farm supported over 150 jobs through various civil and electrical engineering disciplines, ensuring contractors gain valuable experience in the renewable energy sector.

CWL have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wind Towers (Scotland) Ltd confirming that CWL will purchase 50 turbine towers for their consented projects which will feature steel towers from their steel tower fabrication plant in Campbeltown. This MOU has safeguarded 135 jobs at the plant and has been further increased to the procurement of 100 towers from this Argyllshire factory.

With regards to investment associated with the spending of workers whilst building wind farms, it was estimated that for every Megawatt (MW) that was under construction in 2011, £7,500 was spent on accommodation, food and drink (RenewableUK, 2012). Based on this the proposed Hill Rig scheme could bring around £210,000 into the local area.

In addition to economic benefits CWL value their working relationships with local schools and are actively engaging with local schools in the area surrounding the proposal to organise presentations based on environmental topics. CWL are attending a local primary schools ‘Eco Week’ in May 2015 whereby CWL will deliver education presentations and activities to fit in with the school curriculum. Educational Presentations are also available for after school clubs, youth groups, local adult groups and any other community groups as desired by group leaders and members.

Please come and visit us at the public exhibitions to find out more and to provide us with your thoughts and comments on the proposal.

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