Loan will support turbine projects
THE communities of Goran and St Enoder are to share in the profits from renewable power schemes which are to be built using a share of a £500,000 loan.
The money will be borrowed from the Low Carbon Society, a body set up and backed by Cornwall Council's Green Cornwall programme, and the total pot will be shared with renewable energy schemes in Halvasso and Helford.
All four have been developed by Community Power Cornwall (CPC), an industrial and provident society which funds community-owned renewable energy generation, mainly turbines, by selling shares to its members.
The council says the four schemes will provide enough energy to power 145 homes and generate more than £3.75 million from the Government's feed-in tariff over the next 20 years.
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In Goran the funds will be used to replace a short-term bridging loan on two 80kW wind turbines in order to release revenue to support and develop other community energy schemes.
Transition St Goran, the group behind the scheme, has previously used money generated by the scheme to improve insulation at Gorran Haven Memorial Hall and replace floodlights at St Just Church in Gorran Haven.
In St Enoder the cash will be used to install a new 100kW wind turbine at Glebe Farm.
A proportion of the revenue derived from selling the St Enoder turbine's electricity to the National Grid will be given to mental health rehabilitation charity Pentreath.
Council Cabinet member Julian German said: ""In the longer term, it's hoped that more schemes like this will create a Cornish energy market where local supply can start to meet local demand. This isn't as far away as people might think, and could really start to transform the problems many in Cornwall are facing with ever-rising fuel bills.
Paul Martin, from the Low Carbon Society, said: "We have excellent natural resources and it seems fair that the people of Cornwall should share in the benefits that come from these resources," he said.
"The total spent in the Duchy on energy is £1.4 billion each year and at least 98 per cent of this spend leaves the Duchy.
"Given that Cornwall has some of the best natural resources in terms of wind, sun, hydro and heat energy it seems only fair that a greater proportion of the economic benefit from these resources is retained in Cornwall."