EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News
The Small Wind Co-op community energy project to build two small wind farm turbines in Inverclyde has already raised more than 75% of the investment needed.
It has raised more than £525,000 towards building the 2 x 100kW turbines at Kellybank, near Wemyss Bay, with supporters investing sums ranging from £100 to £100,000 in the co-op.
The project is pre-approved for the Feed-in Tariff UK government subsidy – virtually guaranteeing profits, but time is running out as the offer closes on 22 August.
Jon Halle, Director of the Small Wind Co-op, explained: “We’re very pleased to have had fantastic support for the Small Wind Co-op from across the country, and we’d love to get more investment in from people in Scotland to help push us over the line.
“With last week’s UK interest rate cuts making it even harder for savers to find a good home for their money, we’re offering a chance to not only earn a stable return, underpinned by the government subsidy, but do something positive for the planet and the Inverclyde community too.
“So far, 166 people have invested – with several people pledging the minimum of £100 and one person investing £100,000.”
The Small Wind Co-op is offering two types of investment: bonds, which have a return of 4.5% and will be repaid after six 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 is run.
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 site.
The community benefits have been welcomed by Stuart McMillan, the SNP MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, who said: “The community fund from the Kellybank turbines will be targeted to support initiatives that improve employment prospects and grow a further sense of community in Inverclyde.
“The aim is to use turbine funds to support community trusts that are already helping people in the area and will allow people in Inverclyde to use the energy generated in their own home or business.”
People opting to invest through community shares and fully join the cooperative will enjoy another unique benefit – the chance to use the electricity they generate themselves, by signing up to Co-operative Energy for their energy supply.