- Small Wind Coop launched this week on crowdfunder.co.uk to raise over £1.5 million for community-owned wind turbines
- Local people invited to help fund a small wind turbine at Troed y Bryn near Llangeitho and second wind project in Scotland – a first in the UK
- Minimum to take part is just £100, with annual returns forecast of between 4.5% and 6.5%
- Small Wind Co-op members will be able to use the energy generated at home thanks to a unique deal with energy supplier Co-operative Energy
14th June 2016 An innovative new local community energy project has been launched this week on Crowdfunder, the UK’s top crowdfunding website. The Small Wind Coop is inviting people to support a small farm wind turbine at Troed y Bryn near Llangeitho and a second farm wind project in Scotland – the first time a community energy project has brought together farm-scale wind projects in different countries within the UK.
As well as offering those who join a return of between 4.5% and 6%, the project will generate a community fund of £3,000 a year (index-linked) for 20 years to support local projects bringing social, economic and environmental benefits to the area around Llangeitho.
Launch events were held last week in Llangeitho and Lampeter, attracting over 100 local people to both events. Elly Foster is the Chair of Grannell Community Energy who will be managing the community fund.
Elly Foster said:
“We’ve been very pleased with the strong interest so far – people understand that this is a fantastic local opportunity to support sustainable energy, local farming and the wider community, and earn a decent rate of return.”
Troed y Bryn has been farmed by the Davies family for generations. It is mainly a sheep farm, although the family has also been rearing horses, which have been in the Welsh stud books for 100 years.
Farmer Aled Davies said:
“Farming has become increasingly hard. We wanted a wind turbine on the farm to keep us going for the next generation. A community-based turbine will generate income for the farm, for the village and everybody who becomes a member.”
The Small Wind Coop has been set up by Sharenergy, based in Shrewsbury, who have facilitated over 30 community energy projects throughout the UK, and their extensive experience is being brought to bear on this project.
The Coop will be offering two ways to join: 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 and have a say in how it’s run.
Thanks to the government’s new Personal Savings Allowance, for most people the returns will be tax free. 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.
Leila Sharland Community Renewables Adviser, Sharenergy, said:
“Our three wind turbines will be in windy spots on two small farms in Wales and Scotland, but you can choose to use the electricity generated wherever you are in the UK. It's like having your own bespoke green tariff – and you know exactly where your energy is coming from because you co-own the turbines.”
The total fund raising target is £1,591,000, which will enable all three turbines to be built across both sites. An initial target of £700,000 has been set which will allow one of the turbine sites to be built.
People can find out more or sign-up online via the Crowdfunder website http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/smallwind where they can watch a short, 3-minute film about the project and also download a Share Offer Document giving all the details about the project in English or Welsh.