Funding England’s largest onshore wind turbine

We were thrilled to support Ambition Community Energy C.I.C. (ACE) in its mission to build England’s largest onshore wind turbine in our home city of Bristol.

The group came to us with planning permission and grid connection secured but needed additional capital to help them move the project into construction after years of planning work.

Thrive provided the group with a £4 million loan to fund the build, with the turbine serving the community in Lawrence Weston – an area in the north of Bristol, just east of our Avonmouth wind farm. It complemented earlier loans from Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) City Funds and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, as well as a grant from the West of England Combined Authority Low Carbon Challenge Fund (part of the European Regional Development Fund).

With a maximum capacity of 4.2 MW, the turbine can generate enough power for close to 3,000 homes – the equivalent of Lawrence Weston’s domestic use – and will save almost 48,345 tonnes* of carbon emissions over its lifetime. It will also provide a new funding stream for the local community, with all profits from electricity sales being reinvested back into the area, acting as a driver for regeneration. Moving forward, the group plan to build an Energy Learning Zone to inspire young people and provide training to upskill residents for zero carbon careers.

The project won the 2022 award for ‘Finance & Innovation’ at the Community Energy Awards, hosted by Community Energy England.

“Many Lawrence Weston residents are struggling to heat their homes as they have poor insulation and low-energy efficiency, exacerbating fuel poverty as energy costs rise. Charity, Ambition Lawrence Weston, has taken the lead in implementing its community plan to tackle fuel poverty and address the climate emergency, resulting in this community wind project. We’ve never given up on getting the ACE turbine built, helping ensure that their community plans are funded and allowing them to take control of their destinies. With the help of Thrive, the turbine will serve as a model for other UK communities.”

David Tudgey, Project Development Manager, Ambition Community Energy CIC
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Constructing England's largest onshore wind turbine with Ambition Community Energy

A record-breaking community wind project in our home city of Bristol.

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