Community windfarm marks launch with Spanish turbine investment

Inverclyde project take over £1m in funds and purchases turbines from European tech firm  

THE SMALL WIND COOPERATIVE, a crowd-funded community scheme, has surpassed its original fundraising target of £700,000, receiving over £1m pounds of funding.

The cooperative has also made its first purchase by signing an agreement with the UK branch of Spanish renewables company Norvento for the instalment of the company’s turbines.  

The windfarm in Inverclyde will be one of two projects based in Scotland and Wales and comes at a time when subsidies for offshore and onshore farms have been cut.

"Innovative crowd-funded schemes are an exciting proposition for local communities who stand to benefit financially from clean energy generation." Ivo Arnús

Ivo Arnús, director of UK business development for Norvento, said: "Innovative crowd-funded schemes are an exciting proposition, not only for medium wind manufacturers and developers looking to bring projects to fruition, but also for local communities who stand to benefit financially from clean energy generation.

"Our medium-scale turbines are ideally suited to on-site generation on this scale, guaranteeing minimal disruption, and ensuring the project is in harmony with the local area and its inhabitants."

Initially two Norvento nED100 100kW turbines will be installed at the farm scale project at Wemyss Bay in Inverclyde but there is scope for more development based on matched funding.

With the reduction of subsidies and debates over how to maintain investment renewables, community-funded schemes are becoming a regular method of financing the construction of small scale and medium scale wind projects. 

However, the investment this week by Norvento is part of a wider trend in Scotland of continental companies partnering either with government bodies or Scottish companies in the renewables sector.

The latest landmarks in renewable growth have seen an upsurge in tidal wave development, research and funding bucking the trend of the reduction of focus in wind power due to UK government policy.

"We are very pleased to be working with Norvento. Not only are their nED100 turbines capable of maximising energy generation, ensuring our members get reliable returns, but they are made with green energy themselves." Jon Halle

As part of the Small Wind Co-op, members can join from £100 and as shareholders look forward to returns of up to 6.5 per cent, as well as having a say in the running of the cooperative.

In turn, members have the opportunity to directly benefit from low cost clean electricity, all while supporting local communities.

The cooperative organisers said that the project will contribute to local community funds, help people into employment and support the maintenance of community buildings. 

Jon Halle, director at the Small Wind Co-op, said: "We are very pleased to be working with Norvento. Not only are their nED100 turbines capable of maximising energy generation, ensuring our members get reliable returns, but they are made with green energy themselves."

Picture courtesy of Jinterwas

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