Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s SNP MSP has met with the Chief Executive of EDF Renewables, Matthieu Hue, for talks on the level of community benefit the company is offering as part of the Dorenell Wind Farm Development.. 

The robust discussions centred around the concerns expressed by the United Communities Impacted by Dorenell Group who recently met the MSP in Dufftown.

Scottish Government guidance recommend that energy companies pay community benefit at a rate of £5000 per MW, with local community groups unhappy that EDF Renewables has not committed to this level of payment for Dorenell Wind Farm, which is currently under construction. 

Mr Lochhead was joined by SNP Councillor for Speyside Glenlivet, Louise Laing, where they made the case on behalf of the community for an improved package to be offered by EDF. 

Speaking after the meeting at his Moray Parliamentary Office in Elgin , Mr Lochhead said:

“With the national standard for community benefit for onshore wind farms being £5000 per MW, I do think the local communities have a strong case to make for a better deal from EDF who are developing Dorenell, and I certainly made sure that I made that case on behalf of the communities affected.

“We had a very robust discussion and I expressed my strong view that we must find a way to move forward that ensures the community are satisfied with the benefits package on offer, and that the development can go ahead without this dispute hanging over everyone involved.

“Whist there were no commitments given, the Chief Executive left the meeting confirming that he would go away and reflect on the points made and will come back to me with a detailed response.  I hope that his response will be a positive one for the people in Speyside and can lead us to a position where EDF can move forward with the development with the support of local communities.”

SNP Cllr Louise Laing added:

“I’ve met with local community groups and residents who feel frustrated at the community benefits package on offer from EDF and I was pleased to be able to put their concerns directly to the Chief Executive.

“The communities affected have faced some challenging times and community benefit paid at the recommended £5000 per MW has the real potential to be transformative for the area, and I hope we can persuade EDF to up their offer.”

Spokesperson from the United Communities Impact Group, Fraser McGill has asked that we issue the following statement on his behalf:

Fraser McGill Spokesperson for The United Communities Impacted by Dorenell wind farm welcomes the positive outcome of the meeting on behalf of the community. The community believe that EDF will see that delivering the full community benefit in monetary form will better meet their business aims, one of which they set in 2016 "to be the most trusted brand in the UK energy industry".

Our group firmly believe that EDF has no justifiable reason not to offer the Dorenell communities the same community benefit that EDF pay to other communities they impact in Scotland. EDF continue to offer the standard £5000 per MW if the phase 2 development of Dorenell wind farm is approved - an inducement to the communities adversely impacted by the wind farm.

We welcome further dialogue to resolve the unfair treatment by EDF before the end of this year when the wind farm is due to commence operation and the  community agreement is finalised.