Offshore Wind Community Benefit Scheme Gears Up For Autumn Launch

Local residents in the Northeast of Scotland are being given the chance to get involved with the next stage of the offshore wind community benefit scheme for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre.

Offshore Wind Community Benefit Scheme Gears Up For Autumn Launch
People involved with one of Vattenfall's community events at Balmedie beach.

The University of Edinburgh’s independent analysis reported to Vattenfall that the region's communities want preparation for the future, capacity building and investment in community spaces and transport, resulting from the 20-year, £3 million ($4.02 million), Unlock our Future fund.

Work is now underway to set up the £150,000-a-year ($201,000) scheme, expected to run for 20 years. This includes a search for local champions to help get the scheme up and running with the first call for community funding proposals expected to follow in the fall of 2018.

And thanks to the community feedback, Vattenfall has agreed that £15,000 a year ($20,000)– 10 percent of the annual total - will be dedicated to the people of Blackdog, where the substation for the EOWDC is located.

Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall's project director for the EOWDC, said, "Vattenfall has a great record in delivering community benefit programmes and this is our first scheme of this nature for an offshore wind farm. Moving on to the next phase of development of the fund I call on community champions in the region to get involved and help us make the best of this valuable opportunity."

As part of the Unlock Our Future scheme, a community development officer will be appointed to offer support to local people and groups to help develop ideas and approaches to make the most of the community funding.

The 93.2MW, 11-turbine EOWDC is Scotland's largest offshore wind test and demonstration site. Last week, the final turbine for the cutting-edge scheme was successfully installed along with the inter-array cables. Work is now underway to commission the facility with first power expected to be generated this summer.

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