An innovative new community energy project, The Small Wind Co-op, focused on farm-scale wind turbines in Wales and Scotland, has extended its share and bond offer to August 22nd.
The Small Wind Co-op offers people the chance to support three community turbines: one at Troed y Bryn in Ceredigion, Wales and two at Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde, Scotland – the first time a community energy project has brought together farm-scale wind projects in different countries within the UK.
Jon Halle, Director, The Small Wind Co-op, said: “We’ve been experiencing a very high level of interest over the last few days, with applications coming in at a great rate, so we have extended the share offer end date to the 22nd August. That still gives us enough time to order and install the turbines with a sensible buffer in case of bad weather in winter or any other delays.”
The Small Wind Co-op is offering two types of investment: bonds, which have a return of 4.5% and will be repaid after 6 years; and shares, which offer a projected average annual return of 6.5% over 20 years and entitle people to become members of the co-operative with a say in how it’s run.
Investment is simple and straightforward through the Crowdfunder website, and the project has already raised over £320,000 from 130 different investors, with an initial target of £700,000.
Thanks to the government’s new Personal Savings Allowance, for most people the returns will be tax free.
Jon Halle added: “With a minimum investment of just £100, this is something almost anyone can be part of. It’s a fantastic opportunity to own some green energy in the UK as well as supporting ordinary farmers in Wales and Scotland. People are telling us they are joining the Small Wind Co-op partly because other investment alternatives seem to have just become a whole lot more risky while offering ever lower returns. And with the end of the Feed-in-Tariff looming, there won’t be such a good opportunity for a very long time.”
As well as offering a stable return for members and bondholders, supported by the government-guaranteed Feed-in Tariff, the project will generate a community fund of £3,000 a year (index-linked) for 20 years at each location, to support local projects bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to the area. In Wales, the community fund will be invested in improving a local village hall and play park in Lllangeitho, near the turbine site.
Sharenergy, based in Shrewsbury, has helped set up over 30 community energy projects throughout the UK.
Members of the Small Wind Co-op will also be able to sign up to use the energy generated by the turbines in their homes and businesses, via a unique agreement between the Small Wind Co-op and ethical energy supplier Co-operative Energy.
It’s easy to join the Small Wind Co-op. Shares can be bought online via the Crowdfunder website, http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/smallwind.
Both shares and bonds can be bought using the application form in the comprehensive Share Offer Document, available at the Small Wind Coop website www.smallwind.org.uk