Hebrides News has published an article, outlining the benefits to be bestowed on the community of South Lochs through the construction of the Muaitheabhal Project, better known as the Eishken Windfarm. These benefits will leave South Lochs out of pocket to the tune of £6.9m. Let me explain.
Four turbine sites in the windfarm: £0
Four turbine towers: £18.5m
Contribution to Western Isles Council development fund: £11.5m
Total initial expenditure: £30m
1% of income of main windfarm: £8.75m
Revenue of own turbines: £21.6m
I should clarify that it is unclear whether the above two figures are per annum or over the lifetime of the project
Total income: £30.35m
Contribution to Western Isles Council Development Fund: £7.2m (1/3 of revenue, as above)
Net income for Muaitheabhal Community Trust
Apart from the figures quoted above, The Western Isles Community Development fund will receive £4.4m from the main windfarm over the lifetime of the project, which means £26m in total.
It should be noted that the £18m required to construct the turbines will have to be coughed up by the villagers of South Lochs, whose number stands at a few hundred. Eishken estate owner Nicholas Oppenheimer has set up a loan structure for the South Lochs folks to borrow the money.
I will go so far as to call this "community benefit" a screw-up of monumental proportions. Naturally, if I have misread the article, or if there are clarifications which need to be added to the figures quoted in the article, then I'd be more than pleased to modify this post accordingly.