Shetland Community Benefit Fund is a unique initiative with all the local communities coming together to benefit from commercial renewable energy developments in the islands. The islands’ 18 community councils formed SCBF as an independent co-operative to negotiate and administer community benefit funding from developers. It was agreed from the very start that, as far as possible, community benefits should be available on a Shetland-wide basis – so all local communities have a chance of accessing the funds. However SCBF recognises that each agreement and how this aim is achieved, will be different. SCBF has reached two community benefit agreements and details of the funding available are available here.
SCBF reached its first agreement in 2020 with the Viking Energy Wind Farm and its main shareholder SSE Renewables – for the largest community benefit fund for any onshore development in the UK. SCBF will receive £400,000 a year from the Viking Community Fund during construction of the windfarm. SCBF will develop a full Business Plan for the main funding of £2,215,000 a year which starts when the Viking wind farm is operating.
SCBF’s second benefit fund agreement, signed in May 2021, is with the local renewable energy company – Shetland Aerogenerators Ltd, operators of the Burradale Wind Farm. Shetland Aerogenerators Community Benefit Fund will be worth £10,000 a year for 10 years.
SCBF is also talking to other developers in the islands about their community benefit plans.