For the first time a community project will bring together wind projects in different countries within the UK as the the Small Wind Co-op have launched a second tranche of shares to fund the installation of farm-scale wind turbines at Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde and in Ceredigion, Wales.
This follows a successful share offer over the summer which smashed through its target to raise over £1 million, attracting over 300 members from throughout the UK. For this second tranche, which aims to raise £550,000, people who live within postcodes which are within 20 miles of the projects will benefit from £100,000 of shares set aside for local investment for the first two weeks of the offer period – until 1 November. The minimum investment is just £100 and projected average annual returns are 6.5% over 20 years.
Jon Halle, Director, Small Wind Co-op, said:
“Over 300 people joined us to help raise over £1 million this summer which means the groundwork is now getting underway in Inverclyde and the turbine has been ordered for Ceredigion. We’re building on that momentum with our second offer and we really want to encourage those living in the vicinity of the turbines to join our supporters from across Scotland and the UK.”
As well as offering a stable return for members, 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 site in Scotland and Wales. The project has attracted support from politicians across the political spectrum in both Scotland and Wales.
Stuart McMillan, MSP, SNP, said:
“It’s great news that work is about to start on the Kellybank turbines, supporting initiatives that improve employment prospects and grow a further sense of community in Inverclyde. And now local people have a second chance to join the co-operative and benefit directly from owning a share in these wind turbines. The impressive levels of electricity generated from wind recently are evidence that we should be investing in Scotland’s enviable potential for a clean and reliable source of energy for our future.
“The Scottish Government will ensure that by 2020 at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership like this one. And we will argue for Scottish control of our share of feed-in tariffs to help promote community ownership schemes.”
Initiatives like this give local people a chance to invest in their communities and a clean energy future.
The Kellybank site is just above the town of Wemyss Bay, east of the Clyde estuary where the winds blow in from the islands to the west. Much of Inverclyde is socially disadvantaged after the loss of large employers over the years. The community fund from the Kellybank turbines will be targeted to support initiatives which improve employment prospects and which grow a sense of community in the local area.
Alice Hooker Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, said:
“Congratulations to everyone involved with the Small Wind Co-op. Initiatives like this give local people a chance to invest in their communities and a clean energy future. To have raised £1 million already is a fantastic achievement, and it’s exciting that people are being given another opportunity to support this great project.”
Sharenergy, based in Shrewsbury, has helped set up over 30 community energy projects throughout the UK. It’s easy to join the Small Wind Co-op.
Shares can be bought using the application form in the comprehensive Share Offer Document, available to download at the Small Wind Coop website : www.smallwind.org.uk