Who owns Soirbheas?
As a company limited by guarantee, Soirbheas doesn’t have shareholders in the way that most companies do. It was formed for the purpose of taking the benefit from the Corrimony Wind Farm development and distributing it to the local communities. Soirbheas invested in the project to acquire one “virtual” turbine. Subsequently income received from other renewable developments in our area have also been added.

What are the directors of Soirbheas paid?
The directors of Soirbheas are all volunteers and have given up their time for no charge. From time to time they incur expenses on behalf of Soirbheas, which are reimbursed, but otherwise they receive no money at all from the company.

Where does the money to fund Soirbheas come from?
Soirbheas was set up originally to secure the community benefits being offered by the Corrimony Wind Farm development which started producing power in March 2013. The cost of investing in the windfarm and constructing the turbines was funded partly by a loan and partly through a grant from Social Investment Scotland. The Charity has virtual ownership of a fifth of the Corrimony windfarm which still remains its main source of income. It now also receives community benefit payments from other renewable energy project including SSE Bhlaraidh Wind Farm and Green Highland Renewable (GHR) micro hydro at Shenval in Glen Urquhart.

How will the loan from Social Investment Scotland be repaid?
The loan, which is secured on the assets of Soirbheas’ i.e. the stake in the windfarm – will be repaid from the money earned from generating electricity. Over time, it is intended that the loan will be paid down, increasing the funds available to be spent on community projects.

Will the community have any responsibility for paying down the bank loan?
No. If for whatever reason Soirbheas is unable to meet its obligations to the bank, there will be no recourse to the community. However, Soirbheas members, as members of a company limited by guarantee, will have a liability up to a maximum of £1 each in the event that the company (Soirbheas) fails.

What is the money to be used for?
The money will be used to help support other community groups currently active in the area. For example care, sports & hobby groups, community halls and schools have all benefitted so far. Soirbheas can also run projects itself; perhaps addressing energy needs and promoting further energy-producing projects. In addition Soirbheas can use its income to promote social and economic benefit, so it could also engage help to create plans for developments that just need extra time and effort to get off the ground.

Will I get cheaper electricity?
Unfortunately not, or at least not directly from Soirbheas. In the long term however, decreasing reliance on fossil fuels should certainly reduce the environmental cost to us all.

Will there be any jobs created locally?
We employ two members of staff.  A Community Development Manager whose role includes community engagement, developing and supporting projects and the administration of grants. The Assistant Community Development Officer supports the CDM with these tasks. Soirbheas also supports local business through its Apprenticeship Grant Scheme with the aim of giving young people who wish to stay in the area opportunities to train and develop skills while employed. It is hoped that the distribution of profits from the windfarm will boost the local economy and in turn generate further employment.