Tariff rate fall could threaten Bute wind scheme

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A fall in the rate of incentives paid for generating ‘green’ electricity could put a Bute community wind power scheme under threat - before it has even begun.

Bute Community Power Ltd (BCP) hopes to contribute £1 million to the local economy over the next 20 years from two 250kW turbines at Auchintirrie farm - part of an overall target of £5 million over 25 years from renewable schemes.

But the project’s manager says that any significant delay could put the feasibility of the project in doubt because of a steady decline in the rate of ‘feed in tariff’ (FIT) - the cash paid out by the government to encourage businesses and individuals to generate electricity from renewable means.

Boyd Alexander told The Buteman: “The FIT rate was 27p per kilowatt hour in 2012. When we started, the rate was 18p.

“Now it’s fallen to 14.5p, and with a couple of years’ delay it’s possible the scheme could become unfeasible.”

BCP members voted last month to continue with feasibility work on the scheme; they hope a planning application will be ready for submission to Argyll and Bute Council by the end of March.

* More in the January 9 edition of The Buteman - on sale now.