Investing the in the Highlands
The wind farm proposal at Glenshero brings with it significant inward investment to the Highlands. SIMEC is committed to maximising the local economic spend resulting from Glenshero, if consented. It is expected that approximately £23M will be invested in the Highlands economy through construction.
Glenshero Wind Farm will also be seeking to bring the local community into the project with opportunities for both for shared ownership and a local electricity discount scheme for those living closest to the development.
Shared Ownership Opportunity
SIMEC are proud to be able to offer the community at Glenshero the opportunity to invest up to 5% in the wind farm.
Over the previous couple of months Laggan Community Association (LCA) has continued discussions with Local Energy Scotland to progress their understanding of the Shared Ownership opportunity that exists at Glenshero. Discussions are set to continue regarding this topic with an expectation that at this early stage the principle of an offer could be agreed with the community.
LEDS (Local Electricity Discount Scheme)
We are also proposing an innovative Local Electricity Discount Scheme (LEDS) to deliver direct and tangible benefits to people living and working closest to the proposed wind farm. The LEDS scheme proposed will offer an annual discount, to the electricity bills of those properties closest to a proposed Glenshero Wind Farm.
The scheme would be open to all residential, business and community buildings (including schools, places of worship and village halls) within a qualifying area for the operational lifetime of the wind farm, with the discount being paid directly to the electricity supplier.
Estate Investment Plans
In addition to Glenshero Wind Farm, the global GFG Alliance, which owns the Fort William aluminium smelter and associated hydro power stations, has unveiled a broad spectrum of ideas for the use of its surrounding estate lands. These promise to add many more jobs to the hundreds of industrial posts it has already announced for the area.
GFG is seeking to discuss all of its proposals and ideas with a wide range of community groups and local stakeholders in the coming weeks and months, including:
- Major enhancement of the existing hydro power stations and the addition of several further hydro plants around Lochaber and Kinlochleven.
- Investments to upgrade housing and visitor accommodation across the estate
- Development of high-grade facilities for tourists such as kayaking and other outdoor pursuits centres
- Major improvements to, and expansion of, farming, fishing and forestry across the estate
- A new helipad to serve both business and emergency services
- Support for individual enterprises related to agriculture, sport and recreation
- Improved access to the estate lands through better signage, parking and other facilities
Duncan Mackison, Chief Executive of JAHAMA Highland Estates, the GFG division which manages and develops the estate lands, said:
"We want to use the the estate in the most productive way to maximise benefit for the local economy and residents. Our aim is a joined-up plan with the different elements working together. For example the assets of the estate, in whatever form, would feed into our industrial developments to help us to be even more ambitious in our plans for new sustainable manufacturing."