Making the most of wind power

A FREE public seminar investigating the practicalities of now communities in the Borders can take ownership of commercial wind farms will be held next week.

Organised by Community Energy Scotland (CES), it will take place in the Tower Hill Auditorium of the Heart of Hawick on Wednesday at 7pm.

Local CES development officer Andy Maybury said: “This region has a huge wind resource and renewable energy is increasingly vital for providing the electricity to run our homes and businesses. Yet the wind farms tend to be owned by the big companies, with profits going to shareholders elsewhere.

“Nearby communities are usually offered a community benefit payment, but this is often minimal. Some communities are looking at developing their own wind farms but this is a huge amount of work. Could communities and interested groups buy an interest in developments in the vicinity?

“The seminar will look at the possibilities and models available. This is hot topic of interest to anyone looking to help their communities to develop and be better positioned for the future.”

Speakers include Labour’s South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish; Brian Emmerson, senior consultant at Scottish Borders Council; Andy Drane, Head of Environmental Waste & Renewables with Davidson Chalmers LLP and Matt Braund of ABO Wind.