North Ayrshire onshore wind project secures £5 million funding

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A Scottish community group, ATTIX Community Interest Company (CIC), has achieved an impressive accomplishment by securing more than £5 million in funding for their community-owned onshore wind turbine project. Located near Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire, this initiative is distinctive in that it will operate independently without relying on government price support mechanisms.

The financial backing includes a substantial investment of £4 million from Thrive Renewables, a company specializing in renewable energy investments, along with an additional £1.6 million from Social Investment Scotland, a responsible finance provider. Local Energy Scotland has also played a pivotal role in supporting the project by providing funding through the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).

Once operational, this 2.5MW wind turbine will annually produce 7,839 MWh of electricity. This quantity is equivalent to powering 2,234 average UK homes and will contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions by approximately 3,324 tonnes each year.

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What renders this project especially remarkable is its status as a fully community-owned endeavor. The profits derived from the sale of electricity will be reinvested into the local community, potentially funding various community projects, which could encompass the development of local sports and recreational facilities, as well as the restoration of the Knox Institute building, which once served as a pivotal community hub.

The story of ATTIX CIC stands as a testament to the potential of community-driven renewable energy initiatives. Beyond their environmental advantages, these initiatives promise to bring about tangible, positive changes for the residents of the Garnock Valley. Such changes include the creation of a new revenue stream, the generation of local green jobs, and an active contribution to addressing the pressing climate emergency.

Matthew Clayton, Managing Director of Thrive Renewables, has expressed pride in playing a role in this community energy success story. Scotland has taken the lead in the field of renewable energy generation, setting an example for other nations aspiring to achieve their net-zero goals. The ATTIX project underscores the power of community passion and determination, which will have real benefits for the Garnock Valley and its residents, especially during a period when energy costs and the cost of living have become paramount concerns.

Chris Jamieson, Head of Investments at Social Investment Scotland, has highlighted the project’s potential to bring about a positive impact on people’s lives while making a substantial contribution to carbon reduction. This investment aligns with SIS’s commitment to supporting projects across Scotland that facilitate communities in transitioning to a net-zero future, drawing the country nearer to its ambitious objective of attaining net zero by 2045.

Scottish Government objective

The Scottish Government’s objective of having 2 GW of renewable energy owned by communities or located locally by 2030 is being furthered by projects like ATTIX CIC’s wind turbine. The North Ayrshire wind project serves as a symbol of the expanding role of community and locally owned renewable energy sources in Scotland, with 908 MW of capacity from over 26,000 installations in operation by the end of 2022, estimated to generate 1,933 GWh of renewable energy on an annual basis.

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manager, has commended the dedication and hard work of the Radio City Association team in taking this major community project from an initial idea to a tangible project that will benefit the community in numerous ways.

In conclusion, the successful acquisition of funding by ATTIX CIC for their community-owned onshore wind turbine project represents a significant milestone in Scotland’s renewable energy landscape. The North Ayrshire wind project not only contributes to the country’s renewable energy goals but also serves as a testament to the potential of community-driven initiatives in creating a more sustainable and equitable future.