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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Wind farm spin-off for villagers
The village of Fintry is to get its own turbine
Villagers have struck a deal with a commercial developer to bring renewable energy to their community.

Residents in Fintry were already talking about ways to bring renewable energy to the village when plans for a wind farm nearby came to light.

They persuaded the company planning the 14-turbine development to build an extra turbine exclusively for them.

The Stirlingshire project will be funded through bank loans and cash from the Scottish Executive.

The community has formed Fintry Renewable Energy Enterprise and hopes to recoup costs within four years.

Norman McKnight, chair of the community council, said: "It looks like it's really going to happen.

If you'll excuse the pun, it's really a case of the project bringing power to the people
West Coast Energy spokesman
"The interest in the village is huge. We think it will become a model for the whole of Scotland, if not the whole of Britain."

Ayrshire-based West Coast Energy are the agents for the scheme, run by a partnership based in Scotland and Italy.

A spokesman said: "If you'll excuse the pun, it's really a case of the project bringing power to the people."

Villagers said their aim is to cut dependence on fossil fuels and provide cheaper energy for the village by bringing in renewable energy from nearby hills.

If all goes according to plan, villagers will set up a charitable enterprise selling what they hope will be cut-price power to householders.

The surplus cash will be used to provide grants to villagers for home energy improvements such as insulation.

West Coast Energy has yet to get planning permission for the wind farm.

The developers are now considering a similar idea in Perth and Kinross.

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