Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has completed its first clean energy infrastructure investment from the Environmental Capital Fund.
SEP will invest up to £9 million (US$13.8) in Hamsin Wind to fund the roll-out of approximately 200 small, community based, single onshore wind turbines in high wind speed locations across the Highlands and Islands.
Working with development partners, Mistral Energy and ABG, Hamsin has engaged Kingspan Wind as the turbine supply partner, with Hadrian Electrical Engineering the installation and long-term operations and maintenance partner.
The novel infrastructure project will give farmers and landowners the opportunity to install small single wind turbines on their properties and in turn to benefit from discounted power charges for 20 years and beyond. Measuring no more than 20 metres high, the turbines are sympathetic with rural landscapes, grid connected, easy to erect and subject to a straightforward planning process.
The scheme could be replicated at other high wind speed areas across the country, both on residential and commercial sites and further suitable locations are actively being sought. The first turbines will be operational in Orkney by the end of this month.
Peter Bachmann, Director at SEP stated:
"Hamsin marks an exciting initial investment for SEP's infrastructure fund. We are looking forward to working with local landowners to ensure a successful roll-out of small wind turbines at a significant number of sites across rural Scotland. Hamsin will help remote communities benefit from their local wind resource to generate green, low cost power. In some areas, it will play a key role in helping tackle fuel poverty. Hamsin is the first of several small-scale clean energy infrastructure investment opportunities being progressed by SEP."
Paul Gibbon, Managing Director of Mistral Energy Limited commented:
"We have been working with Scottish Equity Partners for around 12 months in developing this novel renewable energy portfolio. We look forward to playing a leading role in the project as we identify landowners and communities with suitable sites for turbine installation - ideally where the host has a significant on-site power demand. We believe this will be particularly attractive since all the planning and capital costs will be met as part of the scheme."
Kingspan Wind's General Manager Richard Caldow said:
"We are absolutely delighted to be part of the Hamsin Wind initiative. One of our stated aims as a company has been to use wind energy to help eradicate fuel poverty within remote and rural Scottish locations and this project is another giant step forward. Up to 95 per cent of the energy generated by Hamsin turbines will be consumed on site, which means that not only will they deliver a reliable source of year-round electricity, the energy can also be used to heat the home or domestic water supply."