Vattenfall, the developer of the pioneering European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), is calling for local advice on getting the most from the wind farm’s £3m community investment fund.
Last year, the Swedish energy group announced it would set up the £150,000-a-year EOWDC fund to benefit people living in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and in the Blackdog area. The fund, which is in line with Scottish Government principles, will run for the operational life of the wind farm which is expected to be around 20 years.
Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall’s Project Director for the EOWDC, said: “The EOWDC Community Fund is a substantial amount of money which can make a big difference to a lot of people. We are capturing a natural resource and empowering local communities. But what should be prioritised? How can we maximise its value? We want local people to tell us what they think. This is a fund for you; designed by you.”
Adam is leading the construction of one of the most innovative wind farms in the world. He is keen to see as many new ideas come forward for the fund as possible. He added: “The EOWDC embraces innovation – it would be great if the fund could also take an innovative approach.”
To support the ‘conversation’, Vattenfall is asking people to complete a questionnaire. More information about the fund and a link to the questionnaire can be found here.
Members of the EOWDC project team will also be on hand to discuss thoughts and ideas at an innovation exhibition running throughout February in Balmedie Library and Aberdeen Central Library.
Scottish Government principles on community benefit funds from offshore wind – drafted and published by Local Energy Scotland – can be viewed here. Across the UK, Vattenfall invests over £2.3mn every year in community funds close to its operating wind farms.
The EOWDC is an 11-turbine test and demonstration offshore wind farm located in Aberdeen Bay. The facility will showcase some of the latest innovations in offshore wind which will support a safer, more productive and cheaper offshore wind industry.
Currently, onshore substation works at Blackdog have made good progress since 2016. Offshore construction is now also well underway with subsea cable laying started and the first foundation installation due in February.