March 20, 2012
Northern Ireland

Adopt Scots’ wind farm model, Sinn Fein councillor urges

Larne Times, 20 March 2012

Sinn Fein wants a Scottish model on wind farm provision to be adopted locally.

Carnlough councillor James McKeown said: “If we are to move towards the 2020 targets for renewable energy and to stand any chance of making this island a net exporter of electricity, we need to ensure that the development of wind farms is done in conjunction with local communities and that there is some benefit for local people.

“This is best demonstrated in Scotland, where money has been reinvested into local communities by retro-fitting houses so they are properly insulated and by investing money into community facilities such as schools and recreation centres.

“However, I am disappointed over the disparity in the amount of revenues that the energy companies in Britain are paying local communities compared to the amount paid here.”

Cllr McKeown urged that renewable energy contracts be renegotiated, so that at least one turbine on a wind farm would be in community ownership “so that they could have a stream of money that could be used for community and environmental projects”.

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