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Wind energy share offer raises £1m investment in three weeks



A renewable energy co-operative seeking investors to support two community-owned 500 kilowatt (kW) wind turbines in Derbyshire and Yorkshire has raised £1m in just three weeks.

The Four Winds Energy Co-op plans to develop one wind turbine in Duckmanton, near Chesterfield, this year and another between Grimethorpe and Cudworth, near Barnsley, in 2015.

It is hoped that the share offer will raise £3.7m by the end of July, while planning applications have already been submitted for further sites at Riccall, near Selby, and Yorkshire Main, near Doncaster.

Although investors from anywhere in the UK are invited to participate, the co-op has appealed in particular to locals, who can invest as little as £250. 

It’s so important to stress that this kind of project is about community ownership, said Paul Rea, chairman of the Four Winds Energy Co-op. 

“It’s not about big corporate or city investors taking control. Local, individual investors can get involved from as little as £25, and people generally see a return that’s significantly higher than anything a high street bank or building society can offer.

“While we’re happy to have investors from anywhere in the UK, it would mean so much more if the majority were local.” 

Renewable energy specialists Energy4All, which has worked closely with and promoted the Four Winds Energy Co-op, said it is optimistic that the share offer will achieve its targets.   

“We have a loyal membership base who invest small amounts in many of our projects,” Marna McMillin, chief executive officer of Energy4All.

“They are people looking for investment alternatives with better returns, and those who believe in the importance of renewable energy. 

“Our share offers are well structured, transparent, and profitable. In a climate where public trust in our traditional banking system has been eroded, we offer something new that investors can really believe in.”

Photo: Colin Brough via Free Images

Further reading:

Wind share offer raises £100,000 investment in less than 24 hours

Oxfordshire leading the UK on co-operatives and community shares

One-fifth of UK’s electricity now comes from renewables

Poll: two-thirds of Britons favour wind power over fracking

£310m Hull offshore wind plant given go-ahead as Siemens confirms investment