Embodying the spirit of putting power in the hands of people, a community-owned wind farm has gone live in Wales. It's expected to provide a model for others to follow.
More than 900 people from across the UK clubbed together to buy the £2.2m Graig Fatha wind turbine near Coedely, a small village in south Wales. Even though not all stakeholders live near the turbine, they will still benefit from the energy it generates through ‘electricity bill reduction benefits’. It’s what sets this scheme apart from others.
Shares in the project started at just £25 ($33). It's estimated that, on average, shareholders will have annual savings of around 25 percent on their energy bills across the turbine’s 25-year lifespan. More than 80 percent of customers bought enough shares to power their entire homes’ consumption through the power generated by Graig Fatha.
“This project demonstrates how wind farm ownership can free consumers from volatile, high energy prices and dependence on imported energy,” said Sarah Merrick, CEO of Ripple Energy, which operates the turbine.
“Ripple’s 907 members will be generating their own low cost, green energy for the next 25 years. This shows better energy solutions, that give people real power, are available today.”