A WIND turbine has earned more than £120,000 for a North-east town since it spun into action a year ago.
The Udny Community Turbine in Udny Green is the first community-owned wind mast on the Scottish mainland.
The £1.45 million scheme has helped pay for a series of projects in Pitmedden and Udny.
Brian McDougall, chairman of the Udny Community Trust, is responsible for distributing the money in the area.
He said: “We predicted the turbine would generate £100,000 in income.
“The first year has seen us do better than expected thanks to it being a windy winter.”
Since 2011, the Trust has given £40,000 to good causes and now has £80,000 in the bank.
The turbine is expected to generate up to £5m in profit over 20 years – the equivalent of £2,000 for every person in Udny.
Electricity generated by the turbine is bought by energy company SmartestEnergy.
The Trust has spent £7,500 on floodlighting for Udny Tennis Club, £5,000 on improvements at Udny Bowling Club and bought an iPad for a local playgroup.
The turbine has also helped pay for Christmas lights and a vehicle for amateur first-aiders Pitmedden First Responders.
Requests for less than £500 are decided by the Trust, while those for more than £500 are assessed by a group made up of community members.
Iain Robertson of SmartestEnergy said the scheme demonstrates the potential of renewable energy for local communities.
He said: “After many years of hard work in getting the turbine up and running, it is great to see the money generated now having an impact across our community.”
Copyright 2012 Aberdeen Journals Ltd
All Rights Reserved