Council-owned wind farms would have the potential to generate significant income every year, helping us tackle the twin challenges of budget reductions and an increasing demand for public services. It’s estimated that the projects could make up to £5.5 million profit per year. As the income would come into the Council who will be the sole owners of the projects, and it’s the Council who provide vital local services, it will benefit everyone in Orkney in some way. That element is referred to as ‘the community fund’.
Location-Specific Community Benefit Fund
Community Benefit Funds are a well-established, integral part of renewable energy developments. They are voluntary arrangements offered by renewable energy developers to communities located near developments.
How could Orkney benefit from a location-specific Community Benefit Fund?
In 2021, the Strategic Projects team held a number of public consultations across Orkney to determine how best to distribute a location-specific community benefit fund from the project. Below are the outcomes from the consultations and the recommendation that was approved at Full Council in July 2022. If the projects go ahead, this will be reviewed to ensure the financial model is up-to-date and it is still in the best interest of Orkney’s communities.
|Geographical location – all of Orkney should benefit from the scheme.
|A total of £432,000 will get distributed across
all areas of Orkney.
|Additional recognition for the host communities: Kirkwall & St Ola, Eday and Hoy.
|60% of the total fund (£259,200) will be shared equally between the three host communities.
|Recognition of communities surrounding the projects.
|The remaining 40% (£172,800) will go to the remaining council areas and be split on a per population basis.
|Commmunity Councils to take a lead role in administering the funds.
|Community Councils will distribute the funds.
|The funds to be manageable to the smaller Community Councils.
|As the remaining 40% is distributed on a per population basis, it will help the smaller Community Councils manage the funds.