Issue 03: Hoprigshiels Community Case Study

There are many great examples and success stories of community renewable energy projects. In the case of community renewables the development of the renewable energy facility is only part of the story, for communities having a long term, stable revenue income gives autonomy over finances and the ability to support wider projects benefiting the local area. In this example, the Hoprigshiels Wind Farm project is a community owned wind project located in Scotland and is joint venture between two charities: Community Energy Scotland (CES) and Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) who came together to form BCR. BHA identified that in order to solve the shortage of social housing stock in Berwickshire, they would have to take an innovative approach. In looking at ways to address the issue, BHA embarked on developing the Hoprigshiels wind project – a project located within the local community, to serve the local community. BHA will use the project revenues ($34.5m) to build affordable homes in Berwickshire over 25 years – making it the first wind farm in the UK to use project revenues to build social housing. In addition there is a community benefit fund of $65,000 per annum allocated as a community benefit fund to be spent on local good causes and projects. Green Cat Renewables was engaged by Berwickshire Community Renewables (BCR) to provide development support during the build-out phase of the Hoprigshiels Wind Farm, acting as Owner’s Engineer as well as undertaking wind resource assessment and acting as technical advisor to the bank funding the project. The Green Cat sister companies, Prelec and Green Cat Contracting, constructed the civil and electrical components for the project including: turbine foundations, roads, substation buildings and all internal electrical infrastructure between the turbines and substation.
Hoprigshiels Wind Farm Construction
The project was successfully commissioned in March 2017. The small wind farm project is expected to generate just under 25,000MWh annually and offset 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The investment in this wind development for the community has lead to positive social, economic and environmental change to the local community which the residents of the area will continue to benefit from for many years to come.  

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