Balgray Wind Farm

Community

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Fred. Olsen Renewables has a long-established presence in Dumfries and Galloway. We currently operate Windy Standard Wind Farm which was Scotland’s first consented wind farm and has been operational for over 25 years.

We want to collaborate with the communities surrounding Balgray Wind Farm to understand their aspirations and identify how we can work together to support them – such as connectivity, recreation, heritage and tourism. We want to help local people and address the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day lives.

Our Experience

We believe that our wind farms can be an asset to the local area, supporting the local economy and helping to meet local aspirations. Each year Fred. Olsen Renewables provides over £600,000 to eligible communities surrounding our wind farms, amounting to over £6m to date.

This has helped communities to implement a variety of initiatives including:

Carsphairn Local Energy Discount Scheme

Carsphairn Local Energy Discount Scheme (LEDS) has been operational since 2018. One of the first LEDS in Scotland, it is administered by Carsphairn Community Council and fully funded by Windy Standard Wind Farm.

The initiative supports local residents to pay for their energy related bills and addresses the challenge of rising energy costs, helping the fuel poor and minimising fuel poverty.

The scheme is open to all properties that are lived in full time (excluding holiday homes and second homes). Local residents are encouraged to apply into the scheme annually. Since its inception the LEDS has provided over £127,000 in direct payments. In 2022 alone, 101 houses were provided with £400 towards their energy costs.

Liz Holmes, Chair, Carsphairn Community Council, commented:

“The scheme has been very well received by the community and has helped residents to meet their energy costs, which has become increasingly important with the huge increase in these over the last few years.

“As a remote rural community, it is very important that this is an energy, rather than electricity scheme, allowing those that use oil, solid fuel or LPG for heating and those who are not connected to the electricity grid to continue to benefit.

“The LEDS helps to demonstrate the positive impact that wind farms can bring to the area, reaching residents who might not benefit from funding otherwise.”