Residents urged to join democratic wind farm co-operative
Three proposed wind farms in Devon are to be developed through a democratic co-operative in which residents can invest between £250 and £20,000.
The Devon Community Wind Cooperative is being set-up with the aim of owning three new projects across the county.
It is being set up by Energy4All which was established in 2002 and already has seven successful co-operatives mainly in the north of England and Scotland.
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Working with developers ClearWinds, they said it would give the people of the Devon the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the issues of climate change and invest in the turbines.
John Malone, development director at Energy4All, says: "In order for the proposed Devon Community Wind Co-operative to succeed, we very much want the people of Devon to get behind it in any way they can.
"The intention is that all three projects will be owned by the new co-operative. And we are encouraging people from all walks of life to get involved, with first priority being given to people living close to the projects and then to Devon residents.
"This is a real opportunity to make a very practical contribution to the fight against climate change whilst earning a return on an ethical investment."
"We have a great opportunity now, to really start making inroads into creating a 'greener' and more energy self sufficient county."
The three sites, which are being developed by ClearWinds working in partnership with Energy4All, span the county.
It is proposing two wind turbines at Torr Quarry community wind farm, near Kingsbridge in the South Hams, and single turbines at Waytown community wind turbine at Inwardleigh in West Devon and Rye Park community wind turbine near Bratton Fleming in North Devon.
All the turbines would have a hub height of 50 metres (164ft) and a maximum height to the blade tip of 78 metres (256ft). Each would have a 25- year life span.
The minimum cost of becoming a member of the cooperative is £250 while the maximum legal investment is £20,000.
The co-operative which is run on a one member, one vote basis, then purchases a share of the wind farm and profits from the sale of green electricity are distributed to members through an annual dividend.
Preference for joining the scheme is given to people living in areas where the wind farms are developed, to maximise the economic benefits to the local community. Investors receive their capital back at the end of the project.
Anyone interested in supporting the projects, helping with the set up of the cooperative, or being involved in discussions about community funds can visit www.devonwind.coop or contact Mr Malone on 01229 821028.