19 May 2014

Introducing... The Spinny Turners!

Inaugural ceremony for Eneco’s Lochluichart Wind Farm brings a new name

Today (Wednesday 14th May 2014), an inaugural ceremony with guests from the local community was held for Eneco’s 69MW Lochluichart Wind Farm located just outside of Garve in Ross-shire 

To mark the occasion the project was given a new local name by the children of Strathgarve Primary School, who saw their chosen name – The Spinny Turners- spectacularly unveiled to the local community through a 10m poster on the spindle of a turbine located at the heart of the wind farm. The children’s local name will be used across the project’s website and on information materials created on the wind farm.

A visitor’s centre providing information on the local area and its historic relationship with energy was also opened to the public which is located at the Aultguish Inn on A835 between Garve and Dingwall. It was officially opened by special guest speaker at the event - sustainability expert Leo Johnson, the children of Strathgarve Primary School and Eneco’s UK Director Guy Madgwick.

The project which received consent from Scottish Ministers for the original 51MW plans in 2009 and was successfully extended by a further 18MW in 2012, was completed after a two and a half year construction programme. This activity generated £3.5M in local contracts for the Highlands area.

Over this period, Eneco has worked closely with the local community to understand how the pledged supporting fund for the project (totalling £2,750 per MW per year throughout the lifetime of the project) should be invested. The Lochluichart Community Trust was established by the local community and Eneco to oversee the distribution of the fund. This is a charitable membership body which is overseen by democratically elected Directors from the Garve community and will provide grants to eligible projects in the local area.

Lochluichart Wind Farm is presently Eneco’s largest onshore wind farm within its European portfolio and is a major part of Eneco’s UK asset growth strategy. Since 2009, Eneco’s acquisition and development projects have included; Tullo Wind Farm and Extension (42MW) in Aberdeenshire, Moy Wind Farm (60MW) and Burn of Whilk Wind Farm (22.5MW) both in the Scottish Highlands and Sevor Farm Solar (10MW), Eneco’s first UK solar project near Swindon. Eneco presently has 210MW of onshore wind and solar power operational or under construction. This year to support its asset growth the company will also focus on increasing its supply activity both within the business and community energy spaces.

Guy Madgwick, UK Director said: “Today’s event has been really symbolic of the achievement that is the Lochluichart Wind Farm. While we are proud of the build of the project, its output and significance to Eneco as our largest onshore wind project, we are most of all extremely appreciative of the cooperation and warm welcome from the community. In creating this project it’s really important to us that we are not only a good neighbour but also a fully contributing member of the Highlands Community – the local name given to the project by Strathgarve Primary School is therefore extremely fitting. For the future we have made a firm commitment to be a part of the community beginning with the recent opening of our operational office at Dochfour near Inverness.”

Pieter Tavenier, Director, Eneco Wind said: “Eneco shares the Scottish Government’s aspiration for power generation from renewable sources and we have made some big steps including our investment in the Lochluichart Wind Farm to ensure that this aspiration becomes a reality for Eneco’s future energy supply. We feel the key to achieving this will be to ensure there is strong local collaboration and opportunities within the communities surrounding our assets.”