A healthy slice of the profits from 22 wind turbines proposed for Fauch Hill in West Lothian will be shared by surrounding towns and villages – plus all the profits from an additional turbine that will be wholly owned by local residents.
The deal, agreed after long and hard negotiations, is reckoned to be one of the best ever won from a wind power developer, and could have major implications for other communities that are considering hosting wind farms in Scotland.
The 69-megawatt wind farm is being proposed by the Louis Dreyfus Group, a privately owned company founded in 1851 in Alsace, France. Two opinion polls have suggested that the farm is supported by around 60 per cent of local residents.
But the development has been opposed by some environmental groups, and was rejected by West Lothian Council in 2012. Last year it was the subject of a public inquiry, and is now awaiting a decision by Scottish ministers.