Offshore renewable energy developments - good practice principles for community benefits: consultation

Draft version, for the purposes of public consultation, of the Scottish Government's Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Offshore renewable Energy Developments.

7. Further Principles

7.1 Definitions

Memorandum of understanding

Document describing an agreement between two or more parties. This document is not legally binding, but indicates an intended common line of action.

7.2 Good Practice Principles

7.2.1 Guarantee of provision

Scottish Government encourages all agreements to be provided in writing between relevant parties at an early stage in the process. It is proposed that such a document will be a Memorandum of Understanding before agreements are finalised, after which point a legally binding document will be signed. Due to the nature of the offshore renewable energy industry, it is vital that this Memorandum of Understanding and subsequent legal contract provide a guarantee to honour all agreements should the site be sold on to a new owner, developer or operator at any point in the development's lifetime. This Memorandum of Understanding may recognise that specific details may change over the project's lifetime and is likely to outline discussions and agreements to date with scope for review.

7.2.2 Application of principles

These principles are intended to apply to developers in the offshore wind industry, but will be of interest to those in other offshore technologies. This document will be reviewed as the marine energy sector develops, and it is intended that guidance will be produced to support the provision of community benefits from marine energy projects in a future publication.

7.3 Further information

7.3.1 Community Investment

Strategic community investment is recognised by The Scottish Government as a key mechanism to help Scottish communities engage in the potential of the marine environment. It is recognised that due to the nature of the industry, community investment is high risk and presents challenges to developers and communities alike. The Scottish Government therefore encourages use of the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) to overcome hurdles and to undertake research to progress the industry to a point where community investment becomes a secure and appealing option for stakeholders.

Groups undertaking research in this area are encouraged to share outputs and findings to allow the sector to progress. Examples of community ownership of offshore renewable energy developments can be seen in Denmark where at least 20% of the ownership of an offshore wind farm should be offered to geographically local communities and adjacent municipalities[11].


Email: Lorne Frew

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