Wind Farm and Sustainable Community Fund – Awel Co-op
Project Partners: Triodos Bank, Robert Owen Banking and Ynni Lleol programme
Awel Co-op commissioned its 4.7MW wind farm in January 2017. The project has generated more than 5GW. It has raised over £2.4m from a community share offer, the highest ever in Wales to our knowledge, and is looking to raise £3m so the project is owned by as many people and organisations in Wales as possible. The wind farm has a capital value of £8.25m and is co-funded by a £5.25m loan from Triodos. Profits will be used to tackle fuel poverty and develop innovative, renewable energy projects. Awel Co-op is committed to tackling climate change and enabling local regeneration. The organisation has secured funding to enable local community groups and schools to buy shares in the wind farm co-op. This includes Tiddlywinks in Ystalyfera who visited the site and would not otherwise have been able to invest. They now co-own the turbines and gain a small income stream from their £500 of shares. Over 200 people have visited the site. Awel Co-op are a pioneer of the community energy movement having started in 1998 and aim to encourage more community energy projects across Wales.
Community Energy Network – Datblygiadau Egni Gwledig (DEG)
DEG is a social enterprise supporting community led action across northwest Wales to increase the area’s ability to cope with the rising cost of fossil fuels and improve the natural environment. Their work provides communities with the confidence, knowledge and ambition to take ownership of their future through projects such as reducing energy use; fuel costs and dependence on unsustainable fuels; strengthening the local economy and generating sustainable electricity and heat.
In the last year DEG has been working with renewable energy development companies, and developing new partnerships with Energy Local and Community Energy Wales to coordinate the roll-out of Energy Local Clubs across Wales. In the past few years DEG have engaged with over 50 communities. Communities DEG have worked with have raised over £1.1m in community investment with up to 85% local investors in Bethesda.
Collaborative working is key to sharing knowledge, developing research and enabling new project development. DEG provides a Director role for Community Energy Wales, Regional Client Manager for Resource Efficient Wales, coordinator and mentors for Renew Wales, Village SOS and Enterprising Solutions and administration for the northwest Wales Community Energy Network Cyd Ynni, where working in partnership is key to developing successful community energy projects.
Project Partners: Community Energy Wales and EWT Directwind
Community Energy Wales CEW has built and commissioned a 900kW wind turbine in Carmarthenshire which is already generating electricity and has generated over 300,000 kWh of clean green renewable energy in less than a month. The project has enabled the generation of clean renewable energy for around 650 homes as well as providing an opportunity to increase the amount of community owned energy in Wales. This project now accounts for nearly 10% of all community owned energy in Wales.
CEW has since set up a Welsh Energy Co-operative called ‘YnNi Teg’ that will enable them to re-finance the project through a community share offer. The scheme is designed to enable ordinary people from Wales to benefit from the scheme by subscribing to the Community Share offer enabling them to become members of the co-operative as well as receiving a return on their investment, keeping money in Wales rather than borrowing from banks. In the long term there is also a £15,000 community fund in place that will help local projects that support action on climate change and support their local community.
The project has taken ‘eight stressful months’ and a large part of the success is down to the goodwill of the YnNi Teg Directors and the flexibility of their organisations to support this to happen. A variety of different organisations including Sharenergy, Gower Power, Energy Savings Trust Ynni Lleol programme, Finance Wales, Welsh Government, Seren Energy, EST Directdrive Western Power Distribution; have all been involved throughout the process to ensures its success, providing financial, planning and logistical support, as well as flexibility and excellent project management.
Community Energy Wales is a not for profit membership organisation that has been set up to provide assistance and a voice to community groups working on energy projects in Wales. We want to help create the conditions in Wales that allow community energy projects to flourish, and communities to prosper.
Sponsored by Social Business Wales