Buying into a turbine for the Community as part of a large development may sound shrewd and savvy but a note of caution should be added. Beware Greeks bearing gifts. As Fintry has discovered the way is not paved with gold and they have ended up asking the Scottish Government to bail them out as the interest charges wipe out any benefit. Ask yourself a simple question: “Will the developer give you the turbine with the best potential position or the worst?” The Fintry Trust refers to the double whammy of low performance and low wholesale prices. Both ultimately controlled by their developer, Falck.
FINTRY DEVELOPMENT TRUST & COMMUNITY TURBINE
This is a flagship development for the SG but it only keeps going via grants of public money. Last year’s AGM reported:
“One of the important ﬁgures discussed was the relatively poor net income from the Turbine. Gordon discussed the poor wind conditions which have affected production of electricity and the low wholesale electricity costs. As part of the agreement negotiated with Falck we have the option to pay off a third of the capital cost of the turbine – however Fintry Development Trust are looking at proposals to pay off the full amount. The majority of the costs go towards paying off the interest on the turbine and
this would bring greater funds into the village via the Trust. Initial discussions have been reluctantly entertained and we will need to work further on the presentation and content of our proposal. In the meantime FDT are having discussions with the Scottish Government about funding the costs and the discussions have been moderately positive to date.”
Perhaps we have missed it but there is no information on the website for this year – let alone an EGM announcement.
Perhaps they’ve run out of wind in more ways than one …
The Truth is that wind farm developers have a lot of cash behind them and can weather some storms such as a seasonally low period of no wind, a blade fracture or mechanical defects. A Community with interests in only one turbine, with high interest payments due regardless of performance/income, has no cushion to fall back on and something entered into with pound signs in the eyes and enthusiastic zeal can become a Community’s worst nightmare.