One of the most effective ways we have found of involving communities with their local wind farm is to give people the opportunity to own a stake in it.
To enable this, an award winning scheme has been developed in collaboration with Energy4All, a not for profit organisation specialising in community ownership of renewable energy projects.
The first step is to set up a local co-operative for each wind farm once it's ready to be built. Once established individual investors are invited to purchase shares in this co-operative (priority being given to those living closest to the project) and the co-operative then uses this money in turn to buy a stake in the wind farm. The co-operative receives a return on this investment and in turn distributes this as share interest to its investors.
The main features of the scheme are as follows:
As an example of community ownership working in practice, the co-operative for Ben Aketil (a 23 MW wind farm operated by our partners Falck Renewables on Skye) completed a successful share offer and started trading in January 2008.