Community wind developments that make money

Community wind developments that make money

A report, Bankable models which enable local community wind farm ownership, prepared in 2005 for the Renewables Advisory Board and the DTI, describes practical ways for communities to achieve part ownership of commercially developed wind power schemes.

Its aim was not to guide communities seeking to raise finance but to identify ways to enable local ownership that fit with typical financing structures for commercial wind farm developments. It suggests the only two structures appropriate for widespread community ownership are investment by individuals into a community organisation that owns share capital in a joint venture company that owns the project, or arranging a revenue stream from the wind farm into a community trust. See http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file38707.pdf

Smaller investors and community organisations have sought to develop their own wind turbine projects, with more of the benefit remaining in the local economy. Because of the difficulty of raising finance for turbines from most banks, an organisation called the Renewable Energy Investment Club was set up in 2002 - see http://www.reic.co.uk/menu.htm.

The REIC brings together projects in need of finance and investors who wish to support renewable energy, whilst also seeing a return on their investment.