Local Benefits

Local community funding​

Helping local projects and peop​​​le

​​We are keen to share the benefits of wind energy among our neighbours in the local community, by making voluntary annual contributions to a range of worthwhile causes.

Skelmonae Windfarm donates at least £4,000 per year to projects for the benefit of residents in the Methlick area. ​

The windfarm at Hill of Skilmafilly makes further voluntary payments of £11,500 per year, split between the communities around Auchnagatt and New Deer. Auchnagatt Community Association receives £6,000 per annum to help fund its projects, with a particular focus on promoting facilities and activities for young people.

New Deer Community Association also receives donations totalling £5,500 per annum, which are spent on supporting a range of sporting, educational and recreational initiatives.

Examples of some of the uses made of our voluntary contributions so far comprise:

  • £4,000 to Methlick Community Council to upgrade and extend the public football pitch in Methlick, which was previously prone to flooding and was not long enough to meet Football Club regulations. Read more
  • £​400 for new benches and picnic tables at Methlick playing field.
  • £1,000 sponsorship for the Methlick Community Cycling Challenge event, which took place on the trails created around the windfarm sites.
  • £3,000 for a variety of educational and play equipment for Auchnagatt schoolchildren and toddlers.
  • £1,000 towards the installation of new radiators in Auchnagatt Community Hall.
  • £750 contribution towards costs of holding the annual Auchnagatt Gala.
  • £900 split between the two bowling clubs in Auchnagatt and New Deer, for new equipment.
  • £1,500 to New Deer Community Association towards the replacement of mowing machines used to maintain the grass in and around the village, and for flower tubs and plants.
  • £1,000 to New Deer Football Club for equipment.
  • £500 to the New Deer Film & Theatre Group for materials.
  • £500 to New Deer school and £500 to St Kane’s pre-school group for materials.
  • £500 to Ythanbank Community Club, towards renewal of the door and windows of the​ Community Hall. Read more
  • £250 to Ellon Scouts, towards renewal of the floor of the Scout Hut.
  • £7,000 to Aberdeenshire Council, comprising the cost of materials and labour, for the construction of four additional Passing Places on the road from Sklimafilly Crossroads towards Wells of Newton and Methlick, to improve the safety of this road for all who use it.

Local jobs and materials

Supporting our local businesses

In preparing and progressing the planning applications for the windfarms, we employed the assistance of experts from the Aberdeen offices of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) as consultants to the project.

A number of Aberdeenshire-based independent experts were also hired to carry out Mammal and Bird Surveys in the area around the sites, which included specialised studies into badgers, raptors and migratory geese.

An archaeologist, who lives only 3 miles from Skelmonae, was engaged to be on site to inspect all the excavation works as they were carried out.

Around 5,000 tonnes of stone, some from collapsed field walls and some gathered from the fields around Skelmonae over past centuries and accumulated in various stockpiles, were recycled in the building of access roads and foundations. Additional stone was sourced from nearby quarries. Local firms were used for the crushing and haulage of gravel and other materials.

For the windfarm at ​Hill of Skilmafilly, another 7,000 tonnes of locally-sourced stone was used.

Local contractors were employed for many aspects of construction, such as excavation and fencing. Two nearby plant hire companies supplied equipment to the project. Road laying and landscaping were carried out by farm workers from the immediate area. Aberdeenshire-based site managers and health and safety officers were employed to oversee the work on the erection of the turbines.

A total of 16 firms from the surrounding area have so far been involved in the construction and operation of the windfarms.

A study commissioned by Scottish Renewables in 2021 and carried out by the Fraser of Allander Institute found that the renewable energy industry supported nearly 23,000 jobs in Scotland, a number that could be expected to increase in future, due to the ongoing expansion of the industry.