The Small Wind Co-op, a crowd-funded community scheme developed by Sharenergy, has reached – and surpassed – its minimum fundraising target. The milestone ensures that construction can now commence at the first of two planned farm-scale wind sites in Scotland and Wales.
Having raised over £1 million, surpassing its initial target of £700,000, the Co-op this week agreed to sign the purchase agreement for two Norvento nED100 100kW turbines, which are now set to be installed at Kellybank farm, Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde.
Despite market challenges to the wider wind sector, including cuts to feed-in tariffs and changes to planning legislation, community-funded schemes remain a popular means of financing the construction of small- and medium-scale wind projects. Supporters of community energy throughout the UK have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to invest in these projects while enjoying healthy financial returns.
As part of the Small Wind Co-op, members can join from as little as £100 and earn returns up to 6.5%. Investors become members of the co-operative with a say in how it is run.
In turn, members have the opportunity to directly benefit from low cost clean electricity, all while supporting local communities. As a co-operative venture, the project will contribute to local community funds, help people into employment and support the upkeep of community buildings.
Ivo Arnús, Director of UK Business Development, Norvento. commented: “Innovative crowd-funded schemes are an exciting proposition, not only for medium wind manufacturers and developers looking to bring projects to fruition, but also for local communities who stand to benefit financially from clean energy generation,”
“Our medium-scale turbines are ideally suited to on-site generation on this scale, guaranteeing minimal disruption, and ensuring the project is in harmony with the local area and its inhabitants.”
Jon Halle, Director at the Small Wind Co-op, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Norvento. Not only are their nED100 turbines capable of maximising energy generation, ensuring our members get reliable returns, but they are made with green energy themselves”.