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SEP backs Highlands initiative

Farmers to gain cheap power from mini turbines

wind turbinesFarmers will benefit from cheaper electricity generated by mini-turbines installed through a scheme to encourage clean energy.

Scottish Equity Partners is investing up to £9 million to fund 200 small, community-based onshore wind turbines across the Highlands and Islands

Many of the turbines are manufactured in Scotland and local contractors will be employed to install them.

The 20 metre high turbines are designed to blend with rural landscapes and save more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The Hamsin Wind scheme, involving a number of development partners, could be replicated 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.

SEP is investing in the project from the £135 million raised for the Environmental Capital Fund launched in September 2014. ECF is an infrastructure investment fund targeted at small-scale, UK based, clean energy infrastructure projects backed by SSE, as well as a syndicate of financial investors led by Lexington Partners, the world’s largest independent manager of secondary private equity and co-investment funds.

Peter Bachmann, director at SEP said: “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.”

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.”

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