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Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, announced a 'landmark moment' in community benefit from and investment in onshore renewable energy developments at leading law firm Harper Macleod's Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC) in Inverness yesterday (Thursday).

SHREC celebrated its fifth anniversary in style, with around 200 delegates attending at the event's new venue, the Kingsmill Hotel. They heard the Minister, keynote speaker at the conference, announce the adoption of the Good Practice Principles for Community Benefit from Onshore Renewable Developments.

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Harper Macleod LLP, one of Scotland’s largest law firms, continues its support of the energy industry by becoming headline sponsor of the Energy North Awards.

The awards recognise and celebrate the efforts and achievements of those operating in the energy sector throughout the North of Scotland and the Islands.  As a long established law firm with a permanent base in the Highlands, Harper Macleod is a natural partner for these awards, which take place on 12th October in Inverness.

Harper Macleod is one of the most active Scottish law firms in the energy sector and works with developers, landowners, community groups, all elements of the supply chain and operators of various sizes, including SSE Renewables, EON, Fred Olsen Renewables, Forestry Commission Scotland and Temporis.

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On Thursday 26th April 2012, at leading law firm Harper Macleod's Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference in Inverness, Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism announced a £23.5 million government loan scheme to help communities and rural businesses all over Scotland get community energy renewable projects up to the planning stage.

Scottish communities and rural businesses have already benefited from the loans, which are designed to help small-scale projects which directly benefit their local area, and which would not proceed without the loan. Projects all over Scotland have already received more than £4.5 million in loans, including a Borders housing association which will use the proceeds to improve the houses it offers for rent, and a Highland charity which will become more financially sustainable thanks to a hydro scheme.

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In light of the DECC's current Feed-in Tariff consultation and the claim from Community Energy Scotland that community energy is disadvantaged compared to commercial energy development, law firm Harper Macleod has announced a dedicated breakout group at its high profile Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC) on how this and other unique issues affect Community Groups. The conference takes places on 26th April 2012 at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, and already has more than 150 landowners, developers, suppliers and community members attending, with only limited spaces still available. Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism was recently announced as the event's keynote speaker.

The Community Renewables breakout group will explore the issues facing Community Groups in their quest to exceed the target of 500MW of community and locally-owned renewable energy generation by 2020. James McMorrow from Harper Macleod will begin by looking at the company structures, charitable status and governance issues that Community Groups should be aware of. Community Energy Scotland will then focus on local finance models and funding options for community scale projects, with Soirbheas Ltd also providing insight in to its Glenurqhart Project.

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Harper Macleod LLP, official law firm to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is to host the third annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC 2012) on 26 April 2012 at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.

SHREC 2012 will provide a forum for those not only working in the sector, but also those who are keen to find out how they can become part of this burgeoning sector. With acronyms such as EMR, FiTs and RHI being buzz words, SHREC will provide practical advice on how to maximise opportunities in the wind/hydro/biomass and solar pv sectors for landowners, community groups and developers alike.

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