New Falkirk area wind turbine to power more than 700 homes each year

A major wind turbine project, which will produce enough energy to power more than 700 homes each year, has been completed.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 2:42 pm

The Bespoke Community Development Company turbine in Lionthorn was opened by Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson on Friday, July 30.

It’s the first Mr Matheson has opened since being appointed to his new role as Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport.

However, with government incentives now reduced, there’s a belief it could be the last turbine in the UK to start spinning with a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) accreditation.

Michael Matheson, Falkirk West MSP, switches on the Bespoke Wind Turbine in Lionthorn. From left: David Bennet, of Bespoke Community Development Company; Guy Wedderburn, Callendar Estate manager; Gavin Catto, of Green Cat Renewables; Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport; Jonathan Hagger, Emergya Wind Technologies; Andrew Lyle, Locogen MD; and Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland manager. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The project began nine years ago and was subject to reductions in the FiT incentive, meaning the size of the proposed turbine was increased to make the numbers stack up.

Bespoke CDC partnered with Locogen and Green Cat Renewables to deliver the project and spread the economic risk.

Locogen and Green Cat Renewables both hold 40 per cent of the shares, with the community retaining a 20 per cent shareholding.

The turbine was also supported by the Scottish Government through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme.

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Manufacturer EWT altered the proposed size of the 900kW turbine which was erected with a hub height of 69m and 61m blades.

It’s the first of this model commissioned in the UK, producing approximately 2860 MWh over the course of a year – enough to power around 715 homes.

Those behind the scenes say getting the turbine spinning on April 8 this year was an important milestone.

However, stakeholders believe the most significant aspect of the turbine is it may be the last in the UK to be FiT-accredited.

The UK’s FiT scheme for small-scale renewables offered payments for the energy generated and exported to the National Grid and officially closed in March 2019.

Andrew Lyle, Locogen CEO, said: “This is a great example of how shared ownership schemes can work well, using the strengths of both community groups and private developers.

“This project could not have been delivered without both the community group and the private developers working closely together. The FiT scheme has been huge for onshore wind and an important part of the work we’ve done at Locogen.

“The scheme winds down to a close as Bespoke starts to turn and we’re particularly pleased that this last FiT project is one that benefits the community.”

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