The first completed community-owned scheme on the NFE, at Stank Glen near Callander, began generating power in November 2014 followed by a small number of other schemes. Current applications are made through the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS).

The community in Morvern is part of a Joint Venture in a hydro scheme that is now generating power, others have taken up the commercial opportunity that was available and further opportunities are expected in years to come.

There are three ways that community groups can get more involved in projects:

Community benefit payments

Community groups may be eligible for benefit payments from developer-led renewable energy projects. In 2010 we introduced a standard annual community benefit of £5,000 per MW installed. This became industry standard and is part of the Scottish Government Good Practice Principles.

The community must be an appropriate organisation as outlined in our guidance:

We have produced guidance for developers on their role in agreeing community benefit arrangements:

Community investment

For some developments, community groups can invest in a local development and receive payments from this stake. Investment opportunities are determined by developers and communities.

Community investment on the National Forest Estate (PDF 238KB) outlines the principles we apply to the financing of community investment opportunities.

Community self-development

Communities are able to develop their own renewable energy schemes on the estate through the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS). We working with groups that express an interest in these opportunities.

 

Further advice

Advice about community benefits and opportunities is available through the Scottish Government CARES contract from Local Energy Scotland or at freephone 0808 808 2288.

Development Trusts Association Scotland, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Community Woodlands Association and Community Energy Scotland may also be able to assist.