The trust hopes the wind farm will be up and running by March 2014, as the value of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) issued by the UK government may fall in value after that.
The next step is the public ballot which will run until next weekend (October 27/28); if the vote is in favour that will be followed in November by an application for planning permission from Argyll and Bute Council.
Mr MacDonald said two-thirds or 66% in favour was the ‘perceived wisdom’ of the number of Yes votes required.
But some of the audience at Saturday’s meeting were confused about the function and importance of the ballot papers, which ask for a yes or no response to the statement “I support the building of Cove Community Wind Farm”.
And the environmental impact statement referred to in the meeting, together with the costs model, will not be available until after residents have voted in the public poll.
One member of the public said their views could be misrepresented: “We can’t vote until we have got all the information. If you are going to go to the planners you have got to go with a figure which reflects what people feel.
“£15m is a lot of money – I am in favour of it but I can’t vote Yes at the moment because we don’t have all the information.”
Mr MacDonald said ‘nobody here is forced to vote’, adding that the documents were still being audited so could not be made public at this stage, but would go on the website after the planning application was lodged.
A resident said that a comprehensive referendum should take place now, while another villager said : “Would it not strengthen your position if the vote was to be independently controlled and audited?
“There are too many of these leaflets going about and I don’t think that will give any credibility.”
Mr MacDonald said: “To us it is just part of a process. This is a long, long road. We have come a long way along it to get to this point.”
He added that delays could mean a fall in revenue for the community: “We do not have a lot of time. Time is a serious issue. If you lose another 0.1% of ROC for this community that is another £120,000 per year.”
The ballot sheets were distributed by volunteers to homes across Cove, Kilcreggan, Ardepeaton and Portkil last weekend, but do not state if there is one vote per household, and more were on seats at yesterday’s meeting.
They were collected at the meting and can also be handed in at Cove and Kilcreggan post offices.
The public can also comment on applications after they have been submitted to the council, but this process centres on planning issues rather than being a simple yes or no referendum.
The council advise anyone commenting on a planning application that their comments may be made public, while the ballot papers ask for the postcode of the respondent.