Fauch Hill Wind Farm Community Benefit update

The Kirknewton Community Council Fauch Hill Wind Farm survey can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FauchHillWindFarm. The Fauch Hill wind farm notification is on page 45 of this weeks West Lothian Courier. The details of the commmunity benefit package, negotiated by Kirknewton Community Development Trust, is summarised by Invicta, the public affairs organisation employed by the Developers EFRG.   1. As communicated in our last position paper on community benefit (issued just before Christmas) we have now agreed to partner with the West Lothian Development Trust to provide a community benefit of £4k per MW of installed capacity. Based on the submitted layout this would amount to £276k per  annum and circa £7m over the 25 year lifecycle of the project. As part  of the agreement of partnering with WLDT they have agreed to provide  60% of the funds on a revenue basis to be split equally between Kirkewton Development Trust and West Calder and Harburn Development Trust (once formed) to allow both host communities to take forward projects that benefit the local community. The remainder 40% of the fund will be distributed to neighbouring communities (tbc) and strategic projects that benefit West Lothian as a whole.

2. In addition the CBF we have also agree to provide a Local Infrastructure fund of £276k (effectively a 26th year of the CBF) for the benefit of the local community who live around our site and outwith any of the established settlements. (We are) in active discussions with the sub group about the amount and focus of this fund. However the broad criteria will remain that this money will be available during the construction period of the project (I.e 3 years from planning) and be focussed on capital investment projects that improve energy efficiency and micro renewables opportunities. (We are) currently waiting on feedback from (the group) following our last meeting and will be in a position to move this forward substantively in February.

3. Finally EFRG remain committed to offering a Community Investment Scheme that would allow the local community (scope tbc) to invest their own money into the project to help them realise an annual return in line with the performance of the windfarm. At this moment we do not have a workable model however once the CBF and LIF are agreed (we) again would like our attention to turn to this matter in a purposeful manner.

(We) look forward to seeing the results from your local consultation exercise. If you need input from us then please ask. Our project website is now updated with the submission details and we will be issuing briefing packs next week to all stakeholders. Thereafter (we) intend to hold a Liaison Forum meeting in February and arrange to  attend all relevant stakeholder organisation meetings to present on the application at next practical opportunity. Finally to move matters on on all matters outlined on community benefit we will be arranging as CB Working Group meeting. The timeline for all of these meeting will be mid to late February.