Last summer, three renewable energy cooperatives – Energy Prospects, High Winds and Baywind – acquired Mean Moor wind farm. The coops, supported by Energy for All and Thrive Renewables, purchased the site from a commercial developer, in what is thought to be a first for the community energy sector.
The acquisition was complex and fast moving. Our role was to provide the speed and certainty required by the commercial vendor to get the deal done. We supplied the finance required almost immediately via our Community Energy Funding Bridge, plus expertise and advice for the communities involved in partnership with Energy for All. This gave the three groups the time and support they needed to undertake two rounds of successful fundraising, raising £4 million in a matter of weeks.
Last Friday this epic collaborative effort was recognised at the Community Energy England awards in Bristol. The culmination of Green Great Britain week, the event celebrated the vibrant world of Community Energy, where people gather together to fundraise for and build solar parks, wind farms and water wheels in their area, reach out to support people locally with energy efficiency and work together to tackle fuel poverty.
At Thrive Renewables we believe that ordinary people should be given the chance to own renewable generating capacity, providing them with direct social, financial and environmental benefit. So far, we have deployed over £12 million of investment in community projects via our Community Energy Funding Bridge, giving local communities the time they need to raise their own funds via crowdfunding once they have taken ownership.
Mean Moor is now being operated with the community-owned High Winds wind farm, comprising five turbines running at a combined capacity of 11.5MW. Its one of the largest community-owned renewable energy projects in the country. We are immensely proud to have played such a crucial part in this groundbreaking collaborative project, and look forward to continuing to support the Community Energy sector as it grows and flourishes.