August 14, 2015

Firm’s cash woes will not affect Saddle Hill turbine bid

The Courier | 14 August 2015 |

A proposed windfarm on the border of Angus and Perthshire will not be affected by a company’s financial difficulties, it has been claimed.

Permission for the Saddle Hill (Black Hill) windfarm – around 2.4 miles north-west of Kilry – is due to be decided at a meeting of Angus Council’s development standards committee next month.

Campaigners against the project have claimed that difficulties at Wind Prospect, which is going into a period of restructure, would be unable to fulfil the project due to financial difficulties.

The firm has been forced to restructure its investments because of changes to green energy subsidies announced in the summer Budget, which cut renewable energy companies’ incomes.

But Wind Prospect has said all 14 turbines, of up to 115 metres in height, will be underwritten by EDF Energy Renewables.

Sarah Dooley, Saddle Hill project manager, said: “The Saddle Hill windfarm proposal is being developed by Wind Prospect Developments on behalf of development partner EDF Energy Renewables.

“It will be fully funded, owned and operated by EDF ER, should the project gain planning consent.

“Wind Prospect’s proposed restructure will therefore have no impact on the Saddle Hill project.”

The application was due to go before members of Angus Council’s development standards committee on August 4, with a large deputation of anti-windfarm campaigners expected to attend.

However Wind Prospect asked for a delay in determining the application, in order to resolve noise and private water supply concerns.

The application will now be heard on September 15.

Investors in a mini-bond issued by Wind Prospect Group, which promised returns of 7.5pc a year, recently had their interest payments delayed for a second time.

Bondholders had been due to receive an interest payment this month, but have been told to expect a three-month delay while the business restructures its investments.

Interest payments are due twice a year, in July and January.

This is the second time in as many years that Wind Prospect has delayed interest payments.

In January last year bondholders were told their income would be delayed by a month, but paid out a couple of days later.

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