New community energy farm-scale wind cooperative launched

A new community energy initiative focused on farm-scale wind turbines has been launched by Sharenergy and will combine projects in Scotland and Wales.

Small Wind Cooperative is first to combine projects in different countries within the UK and will allow members to use the energy generated in their homes and businesses as part of a deal with energy supplier Co-operative Energy.

The project offers people the chance to support three community turbines, one in Wales and two in Scotland, with bonds or shares and a minimum of £100. The bonds offer a return of 4.5 per cent and will be repaid after 6 years and the shares a projected annual average return of 6.5 per cent over 20 years.

Small Wind Coop director Jon Halle said: ““We know that people don’t trust the big energy companies, which is why we are a small co-operative, which is completely owned and run by our members – no ‘fat cats’ here.

“And we know that people want to support renewable energy in the UK directly – so we set up the Small Wind Coop to make that possible.”

Sharenergy community renewables adviser Leila Sharland said: “This could be one of the last chances to join a community wind cooperative following recent changes in government support.

“And as well as supporting ordinary UK farmers in Wales and Scotland, we’re offering our members a new way to connect the energy they are helping to generate with the energy they use at home or work. It’s a really exciting opportunity to be part of a new UK energy democracy.”

The project will generate a community fund of £3,000 per year for 20 years at each location, to support local projects bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to the area.

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024