Our wind farms benefit local communities

Our wind farms benefit local communities throughout their lifetime. Support comes from creating new jobs and education and skills; boosting the local economy; developing the local infrastructure and environment; and providing direct community investment.

Jobs and businesses

Planning, building and operating a wind farm creates jobs and new business opportunities throughout its lifetime – many of which are given to local people.

CS Wind in Argyll manufactures the turbine towers used at our wind farms and contributes more than £8 million a year directly into the local economy through jobs and business for local suppliers that support its factory operations.

Opening a wind farm can also create local jobs. At the Fallago Rig wind farm, 9 full-time technician jobs have been created in the area to support the operation of the wind farm during its lifetime.

Education and skills

Many of the communities we support near our wind farms benefit from an education and training fund, to invest in developing the skills and qualifications of local people.

The Burnhead education and training fund has been used to fund the studies for two engineering apprentices at Forth Valley College (FVC). Another local resident has received financial support towards her travel to college, materials and equipment while she’s studying early education and childcare.

The Corriemoillie education and training fund is ring-fenced to help individuals, small businesses and third-sector organisations receive funding for the cost of materials, travel and equipment required to complete training and education courses.

Local economy

Communities surrounding wind farms often benefit from investment in the local economy, particularly during its construction.

This might come from using local contractors, developing businesses to build wind farm technology, and supporting the workforce with food, accommodation and amenities.

Onshore wind farm projects allow us to continue to provide ongoing and additional employment for technical and construction staff based in Scotland, as well as opportunities for the local supply chain.
Jamie Corser, Business Development Manager at RJ McLeod, a civil engineering firm

Infrastructure and environment

Large construction projects can lead to improvements in the local area: from the development of new roads or re-routing of traffic to investment in new environmental initiatives.

At Fallago Rig, 103,500m2 of land was re-instated that had been affected by the construction works. This was done through measures including native seed spreading, plug-planting and restoration of blanket bogs to support the Golden Plover, an upland bird.

To help re-construct natural habitats, other measures were implemented such as the creation of ‘Golden Plover Scrapes’, which hold water and encourage craneflies (eaten by Golden Plovers); new ‘fish-friendly’ culverts so migratory fish can travel to the River Dye Water; and 140,000m2 off-site tree planting to support conservation of the Black Grouse.

As part of an approved Habitat Management Plan for the Corriemoillie wind farm, we restored 55 hectares of peat bog (see image) and implemented mitigation measures to encourage the breeding of rare-red-throated divers.

Case studies

Barmoor

£60,000 annual investment in the community and local improvements – like new lighting for Branxton Village Hall and a defibrillator for Bowsden.

Glass Moor

£10,000 annual investment in the community and local improvements – like energy-efficient Christmas lights for the town and a children's wildlife education garden.

Burnfoot hill

£89,000 annual investment in the community – including £5,000 a year dedicated to the Ochils Mountain Rescue team until 2039.