Participation and community ownership in UK clean generation took a big step forward yesterday, as neighbours of Britain’s biggest subsidy-free onshore wind farm took a stake in its ten turbines.

Locals around Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway now own 5% of the £50 million, 46 MW Crossdykes park, thanks to the Holyrood government’s Community & Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).

Crossdykes is the UK’s biggest subsidy-free onshore farm, its turbines spinning since last year in southern Scotland for developers Muirhall Energy, and securing revenues from grid balancing.

Michael Matheson MSP, Holyrood’s cabinet secretary for Net Zero, energy and transport, officially opened the farm.  Future renewables projects in Scotland, he hinted, would need to be at least part community-owned, in order to secure regulators’ approval.

The minister said, “As one of the biggest shared ownership projects of its kind in Scotland, Crossdykes is contributing to our ambitions for at least half of all newly consented commercial renewable energy project to have an element of shared ownership with communities”.

Muirhall Energy managing director Chris Walker added, “The work we have done at Crossdykes will act as a blueprint for our future developments, where we want to deliver the same business model and benefits to the local community,”

Muirhall have nearly 1GW of projects at the blueprint stage, likely to emerge over the next two years for planning approval & construction, its boss confirmed.

Crossdykes features ten turbines made by German manufacturers Nordex. The park  was constructed in partnership with WWS Renewables, and financed by Close Brothers Asset Finance.


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