Wind turbines have contributed £1.44 million a year in non-domestic rates payments into the North Ayrshire economy, new figures show.
Non-domestic rates are paid by power projects in the same way as any other business and are a tax on non-domestic properties to help pay for local council services. These include services like education, social care and waste management.
Onshore wind schemes in Highland Council’s area alone contribute more than £23 million every year, with projects in South Lanarkshire bringing in more than £15 million, a new study by industry body Scottish Renewables has shown. North Ayrshire doesn’t have as many wind turbines and therefore it is not possible to raise such high levels for North Ayrshire Council’s coffers (NAC).
Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:
“Onshore wind is the backbone of Scotland’s electricity system, producing the equivalent of 60.2% of our electricity demand and employing almost 9,000 people.
“These new figures show just one part of the onshore wind industry’s contribution to Scotland’s economy – but one which is hidden from public view and often overlooked when the benefits of these developments are discussed.
“Developers also make more than £22 million a year in voluntary community benefit payments, which local people can spend on projects which matter to their area.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“We know renewable energy is the future, but wind energy also brings advantages in the form of community benefits, sponsorships and indeed, non-domestic rates.
“The most recently published figures show that in 2019 alone, onshore wind added £2.4 billion to Scotland’s economy and onshore wind employs 8,780 people in Scotland.
“This £1.44 million a year that NAC receives in Business Rates helps to support our public services, thanks to the wind turbines we have.”