Banks establish 50 million fund for agricultural renewable energy

Patrick Dormon, Managing Director of SIAC Wind Energy
Patrick Dormon, Managing Director of SIAC Wind Energy

The agricultural industry has welcomed a new initiative by two of the UK’s leading banks which will see ’50 million made available to agricultural businesses seeking to install renewable energy systems including wind turbines.

The initiative by RBS and NatWest follows research which indicated that while 33 per cent of agricultural businesses were keen to invest in renewable energy systems, more than half of them would need funding to actually do so.

The ’50 million fund establishment has been accompanied by the set-up of a dedicated renewable energy team to assist investors with the issues surrounding planning and so minimise the time between initial application and actual installation.

Patrick Dormon, Managing Director of SIAC Wind Energy, commented: ’At a time when investment and loans are hard to come by in many sectors, this initiative is excellent news for both farmers and the renewable energy sector ’ and indeed the country as a whole - as it goes a long way towards removing one of the potential barriers to the installation of small and medium wind turbines.

’Once installed and commissioned, these products can meet some or all of the energy needs of the farm, and even generate additional income for any surplus power generated through the Government Feed In Tariff.

’We look forward to working closely with RBS and NatWest to help the agricultural sector make the most of the opportunities available to make their businesses more efficient and sustainable by harnessing the almost limitless free energy created by wind.’

Ian Burrow, Head of Agriculture & Renewable Energy at RBS, added: ’As energy prices rise and the agricultural sector seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, our establishment of a sizeable fund and dedicated team, with representatives throughout the UK and access to an extended team of relevant experts, all the necessary knowledge and support is available to make agricultural wind energy projects successful.

’We will work with farmers from initial feasibility studies through to advice on siting, sizing, equipment, costs and revenue, as well as ongoing to support to ensure optimum return on investment for each farmer.’

SIAC Wind Energy is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for US-based Bergey, the world’s longest established small wind turbine manufacturer, whose products are renowned for their robust, durable build quality and reliable performance in applications worldwide.

Among Bergey products ideal for agricultural applications is the Bergey Excel-S 10kW Wind Turbine which is backed with a 10-year warranty ’ the longest available in the sector. Bergey products start at 1kW and all are renowned for their robustness, durability

and low maintenance requirement.