Aberdeenshire farmer and businessman Maitland Mackie has dropped plans to create a massive wind power company owned by farmers and the rural sector.

Mr Mackie had hoped that he could get 10,000 farmers to back his scheme investing a minimum of £1000 in a new limited liability company – provisionally called Rural Sector Wingen.

The vision was for the farming community to create Europe’s largest energy company, generating 90 gigawatts of electricity into the National Grid from 90,000 three-megawatt wind generators (wingens).

But in a statement to the 580 individuals who have so far expressed interest in the venture, Mr Maitland said despite his enthusiasm he had come to the conclusion it was not deliverable.

Achieving 580 registrants in three months had been encouraging, but for the scheme to work it needed thousands of people not hundreds, he said.

The current economic crisis was also a concern as people who had said they were willing to invest would have suffered a large fall in the value of their savings.

“We could demount to a much less ambitious scheme. But it was not our intention just to be another city-based ‘Wind Power Development Company’,” he said.

“Anyone or group with money can do that themselves. The Wingen scheme was to be truly and uniquely in the hands of the rural sector.

“ What I think we have done however is raise the understanding of the potential financial gains to be had from such investment so that individuals and communities should be aware of the stakes and fight for a big share of the cake.”

 Mr Mackie said pre-investors cash would be returned in due course and he urged people who were still keen to push ahead with a community-based wind power scheme to contact Energy 4 All.