£1 million investment into 1MW community-owned wind project in the West Country

  • Posted: 12 Feb 2024

Working alongside Energy4All, Thrive’s investment will enable the project to remain in community hands.

We’ve invested £1 million into two 500KW community-owned wind turbines in Gloucestershire. The refinancing loan along with a loan from Energy Prospects Co-operative will enable community benefit society, Resilient Energy Forest of Dean (REFD), to retain ownership of the project. Energy4All, who currently manage 33 renewable energy co-operatives, will support REFD as the commercial manager of the project.

As well as providing clean electricity to the grid, funding from revenues generated will continue to support local community projects in the Forest of Dean. So far, a wide range of local community buildings and schools have benefitted as a result.  

The addition of this project to Thrive’s portfolio brings the total we have invested in community projects to £17 million. It is the 6th community funding bridge we have facilitated, plugging funding gaps to enable community energy groups to build and operate their own clean energy projects. This includes providing a £4 million to fund the construction of England’s largest onshore wind turbine in Bristol, which is owned by a community group.  

“Having supported a number of community-led renewable energy projects, we know that access to finance and resource can cause significant hurdles for community energy groups trying to build and maintain local energy projects. That’s why we’re pleased to provide the funding REFD need to ensure that the wind project continues to benefit people living in and around the Forest of Dean. Small-scale community energy projects like this play a crucial role in the UK’s energy transition - ensuring the benefits of cleaner, cheaper energy are open to all and driving change from a local level.” - Monika Paplaczyk, Investment Director, Thrive Renewables.

“It’s important this project remains community owned and we are delighted REFD secured lending from Thrive Renewables & Energy Prospects Co-operative. We are pleased to be working with the REFD board to support this transition and help the society to continue to support local community projects” - Marna McMillin, Chair of Energy4All.

“We are really pleased that Thrive Renewables Ltd and Energy Prospects Co-operative, a community energy lender, came together to lend the Society the funds needed to keep our wind turbines in community ownership. We look forward to working alongside Energy4All in generating clean energy and providing tangible benefits to our local community for years to come” - Al Jack, Chair of REFD.