26/04/2012 - Scottish Government's CARES Loan Programme Opens
The Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) programme has opened again. The programme offers loans of up to £150,000 to cover 95% of agreed costs and provides free local advice and support as well.
This is good news for community organisations and rural businesses throughout Scotland who need funding for community and locally owned renewable energy projects. In order to be eligible, projects must provide wider community benefit and need the loan in order to go ahead. A condition of the loan is a binding legal agreement on community benefit set at a minimum of £10,000 per MW per annum of installed capacity.
Constituted non-profit distributing community groups, constituted local community groups in partnership with other businesses or organisations including social enterprise, and farmers, land managers, rural small and medium enterprises and profit-distributing co-operatives may apply to the programme.
To date, more than £4.5 million in loans have been awarded. Barra and Vatersay Wind Energy Limited (BVWE), for example, are planning to erect a single wind turbine at the most northerly point on Barra. The community has now secured a number of their consents and are currently focused on finalising the turbine access route and progressing the proposal to financial close. They hope to be able to install the turbine by the end of this summer.
Energy Minster Fergus Ewing, who opened the scheme, said:
“The Scottish Government is determined to ensure communities all over Scotland reap the benefit from renewable energy.
“The CARES scheme empowers communities all over Scotland to capitalise on our Green Energy Revolution by developing their own community energy.
“They will in turn be able to take the profits from the schemes and plough them back into their own communities.
“Rural businesses who benefit from the scheme must commit to sharing their profits with local communities. All profits from the community-run schemes will remain with the communities, and all the schemes run by local businesses have committed to give a minimum of £10,000 per MW per annum to the local communities, ensuring the benefits of Scotland’s natural resources are shared with everyone, as well as the jobs and opportunities the schemes will create.”
Organisations wishing to apply for a loan should contact Community Energy Scotland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Scottish Government, 26/04/2012
News provided by j4bgrants.co.uk.