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£26,000 and rising: what wind farms generate for owners  

Credit:  By John Ross, The Scotsman, www.scotsman.com 19 February 2011 ~~

Landowners can expect much higher rents from wind farm developments in future as demand for sites increase, according to a new report.

Consultants CKD Galbraith say that between 2002 and 2008, rents under new leases increased on average by 200 per cent.

In addition, from 2009 to 2010, rents rose by more than 10 per cent with early indications they will continue to increase this year as demand for available sites grows.

The firm has carried out advisory and consultancy work for private landowners, developers, community groups and statutory national bodies on over 850Mw of wind farms.

According to the report, landlords of pioneering wind farm sites throughout Scotland will soon be undertaking rent reviews on the earliest leases and evidence suggests they can expect significantly higher rental returns for their projects.

In 2002 rents accounted for about 2 per cent of turnover, but by the end of last year 4.5 to 5 per cent was common and offers from developers this year have risen to 6 per cent of turnover.

At 2 per cent, a 2Mw turbine at 35 per cent capacity can bring in £10,000 in annual rent and 5 per cent can earn £26,000.

Mike Reid, who heads up CKD Galbraith’s utilities department, said: “The figure increased gradually and then rose quite a bit over the last 12-18 months as there are fewer available sites which has increased demand.

“Its not just about the headline figure, its about choosing a development partner that will deliver a wind farm.”

CKD Galbraith said it has already seen existing sites extended to add more turbines to individual locations which can be more acceptable to the public than developing new, greenfield sites and offer fewer planning problems for developers.

Scotland currently has 110 operational wind farms, mostly in Aberdeenshire and Highlands and Islands.

The report says that with, arguably, the best sites already developed, a trend is emerging to suggest that the average size and number of turbines per new site is decreasing.

Currently the Borders, Ayrshire and Perth and Kinross have the highest average Mw output per county.

Source:  By John Ross, The Scotsman, www.scotsman.com 19 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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