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Wind Co-op Investment
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 2447
Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Wind Co-op Investment Reply with quote

We have a little capital to invest, which I'm considering putting into a local community-owned wind co-operative.

Does anyone have any experiences of these projects, or any tips / pitfalls to watch out for?

All input appreciated, thanks.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've invested a little in two projects. You'll probably make a better return than leaving it in the bank but don't out more eggs than you can afford to lose in one basket.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some info. here Tarrel (scroll down to to see the UK's entry. And here's a pdf specifically about community-led wind turbine projects.

It was around 10 years ago I last investigated the idea over here in the west of Ireland and the conclusion was not good: mucho hard work falling upon too few shoulders and a high project failure rate. Things might be different now. I wish I had the time and energy to pursue such an idea. Embarassed
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses so far folks. We're considering investing in a local start-up, rather than setting one up ourselves, but the PDF from Communityplanning.net is really useful. The worked example shows that the folks behind the scheme have basically got their numbers right.

The plan is for a 250kW unit, funded 100% from investors, as opposed to partly from a loan, which pushes up the anticipated return. (No interest to pay).
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'luck!
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we went to the share offer launch event yesterday evening, and the whole thing looks very credible. They have planning permission and a guaranteed offer of a grid connection from SSE. If they reach their fundraising target, the turbine would be up by next spring and generating by next summer.

Most of the income will come from Feed In Tariffs (18.4p per kWh), with the balance from export tariff. One slight niggle in my mind is what will happen to the FITs should there be a "Yes" vote for independence in next year's referendum. Confused

Projected return is 6.1% (worst case scenario) or 7.5% (avg case scenario) after payment of expenses and a community benefit fund. Capital will begin to be repaid after Year 5, to be completely repaid at Year 20. Set up will be an Industrial and Provident Society; one member, one vote, irrespective of how much each member invests.

The project is being advised by Energy4all, and their representative was at the meeting, along with people from RM, the installers. The turbine is a WTN 250kW, tried and tested design, made in Germany.
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow I don't think you'll have to worry about a "yes" vote. I don't think it's going to happen, and even if it does, the Scottish govt seem quite keen on wind energy.

SSE seem like the most reasonable of the Big 6, fwiw.
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there's been a lot of activity this week to mark the "one year to go". I get the impression the tide may be turning, with "no's" becoming "don't know's". The white paper is yet to be published, and this may deal with some of the sceptics' call for hard facts.

FWIW, my current thinking is to vote "yes".

RC, you're right; the Scottish government has a goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity production by 2020, and their backs are against the wall in achieving this. So there's no doubt they will look favourably on wind power. The question is, whether they will put all their energy and funding into encouraging new investment, leaving those who invested in the UK-based schemes hanging out to dry, or whether they will do the right thing and support existing schemes, picking up the baton where the UK government leaves off.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tarrel: crikey!
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the way to do it. Smile
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

The co-op we are looking to invest in has a deliberate policy of trying to keep it local. The financial plan includes a minimum threshold for a community fund, plus the option of increasing this if the turbine exceeds expected output. I guess the thinking is that local investors are more likely to support this.

They are applying the "local" strategy subtly at the moment, by only promoting the project locally. However, if the offer is over-subscribed, their intention is to prioritise by distance from the turbine.
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the share offer closed on 30 November, and was over-subscribed. We're waiting to hear how many, if any, shares we were allocated.

Not looking brilliant, as it was stated at the outset that allocation would be based on distance from the turbine in the event of over-subscription. They say that 85% of the funding offered has come from within 10 miles. We are 20 miles away, so we wait and see.

Can't deny the success of the share offer though, and we wish them well, whatever the outcome with our own application.

www.dingwallwind.org.uk
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Tarrel



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
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Location: Ross-shire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we got our full allocation. Very Happy

95% of the applications came from within 25 miles of the turbine site. Those outside this range will have their applications scaled back (we are within 25 miles).

Once the turbine is up, and AGM will be held to stand down the original steering group and elect a new management committee from the shareholders.

Will now be watching the weather forecast avidly!
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done!!

(Drafty out, btw Very Happy )
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news - these schemes really do seem like sensible investments.
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