The small, three-turbine wind farm at Mean Moor in Cumbria has been purchased outright from a commercial developer by three renewable energy cooperatives – the first wind farm in the UK to become 100 percent community owned.
Courtesy of Thrive Renewables
Over 400 members of three renewable energy cooperatives - Energy Prospects, High Winds and Baywind – raised £2.8 million ($3.9 million) in just two weeks in order to refinance the Mean Moor community wind farm in Cumbria. It’s thought to be the first wind farm in the country to be transferred to community ownership from a commercial developer. The funds were raised with the assistance of investment company, Thrive Renewables.
The three-turbines at Mean Moor are adjacent to the original Baywind project, an historic site, and the first community owned wind farm established in 1996.
“We are overwhelmed with the response we have received from both Energy Prospects members and the wider Renewable Energy community,” said Rod Blunden, Chairman of Energy Prospects Co-operative. “It is fantastic that we have been able to bring a commercially owned wind farm into the community owned sector”.
The purchase demonstrates the ability of the community sector to operate in the commercial world and reflects the appetite for greater community ownership of renewable energy as an end in itself, especially important as the challenges for developing new onshore renewable electricity projects continue to grow.
Over 400 individuals invested in the scheme, the minimum investment was £500 ($700) with the maximum investment capped at £50,000 ($70,000).