Baywind Energy Co-operative Ltd
Formed by a local farmer and local people in Cumbria. Initially they raised 1.2 million with a share offer to buy two wind turbines. They have subsequently raised further finances and now have six wind turbines installed. These turbines provide enough power for about 1700 homes, offsetting around 6000 tonnes of CO2. The electricity generated is sold to the National Grid and profits go to members of the co-operative. Preference is given to local investors, so that the community shares the economic benefits. The group chose a co-operative legal structure where voting rights are distributed equally amongst all members. Baywind has over 1300 members each receiving yearly share interest (between 6% – 8% annually) based upon the profits earned from electricity generation during the year.
Due to the success of the Baywind project, and the demand they received from other groups interested in repeating their success, they have set up Energy4All. This project’s purpose is to help expand the number of renewable energy co-operatives in the UK by providing advice and support to new groups.
TalyBont on Usk
This project restored hydroelectric generation from the compensation flow at Talybont Reservoir. They are set up as a company limited by guarantee. Funding was from a series of grants totalling approximately 90k. Running since 2006, they are the first village in Wales to have their own community owned hydro. They sell all the energy generated into the grid to produce income that they then invest in community projects. Annual income is about £25,000. So far, they have funded a cinema screen, an electric car share club, PV panels on their village hall, a variety of energy saving measures, an electric bike scheme, energy audits and trials of energy meters.
They have also developed an educational package based on the turbine and offer to visit schools and deliver presentations to the children for free.
You can find Community Energy schemes which are looking for investment online at these websites: