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Call for farmer ownership of wind rights
1 October 2008
The chairman of a Scottish ice cream company has unveiled ambitious plans for farmers throughout the UK to take ownership of the wind generating potential of their land. Maitland Mackie of Mackie's of Scotland claims that a new energy company, Rural Sector Wingen Ltd (RSWL), could be one of the UK's biggest power suppliers within 12 years. He hopes to attract 10,000 farmers and landowners to invest £1000 for a share of the new venture and give the company first call on suitable sites for wind turbines. Although no money is being asked for at this stage, if fully subscribed it would create £10 million of initial capital to engage an executive team and get the company started. The aim is to deliver 90 GW of wind energy into the grid within 12 years. This compares with some 80 GW of total generation connected to the British system today. The scale of the plan allows RSWL to procure the best technical, financial and administrative management available and massive buying and financing power, Mackie claims. Investment in the company could yield a potential 20% return per annum, he says. Mackie adds that landowners with suitable sites would benefit more through investing in RSWL than going it alone or in individual partnership with city investors. "The "buy in" by farmers, landowners and other rural dwellers will allow profits to be delivered back to rural communities rather than in to the hands of city entrepreneurs, who are creaming off the profits at present with landowners receiving only "crumbs" from the rent of suitable wind turbine sites, he says. Mackie's of Scotland already operates three wind turbines totalling 2.5 MW which meet all the electricity requirements of its farm and ice cream factory, while selling the remaining 50% of their output to National Grid.
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