The Fens Co- operative enabled members of the public to own a stake in their local renewable energy resource and thus benefit from the sale of green electricity, produced when the wind blows.
The wind farm at Deeping St Nicholas, in South Lincolnshire consists of eight 2MW RePower wind turbines. Fens Co-op offered community ownership of two of the turbines. The two wind turbines produce enough electricity to power 2,100 homes and avoid the release of carbon dioxide which is the main contributor to global warming and climate change.
Established under Industrial and Provident Society rules, Fens Co-op was a 4.4 million project with 2.66m of funds having been raised locally through the recent share issue.
The site at Deeping St Nicholas is one of a group of Fenland wind farms originally developed by Wind Prospect. www.windprospect.com is a leading independent renewable energy developer, constructor and operator. When developing this clean, sustainable, everlasting energy supply they encourage local ownership and investment and contract with local companies wherever possible. Their goal is to find the right balance between the global benefits of wind energy and the impact of wind farms on the local environment, whilst working closely with local communities.
The share prospectus launched in September 2007 and succesfully raised ₤2.66 million which purchased two operational turbines on the site. The Co-op is run by a local board. Social Enterprise East Midlands awarded Fens Co-op a development grant of ₤50,000 and the Co-op is also supported by the Lincolnshire Co- operative Development Agency and Lincolnshire Co-operative.
The Deeping St Nicholas windcluster in Lincolnshire, comprises eight 2 MW REpower wind turbines on land at Vine House Farm and Worths Farm in South Holland District. Fens Co-op owns two of the 100m tall wind power generators.
Energy4All established the Fens Co-op based on Baywind's extensive experience in Cumbria. Baywind Energy Co-operative is the first community owned wind farm in the UK with 1,300 investors who have received annual dividends from 6 to 8% per annum.
Under the Co-op structure, every member has a single vote, regardless of the size of his or her investment so that each member has an equal say. As well as an annual dividend, members will receive their capital back at the end of the project lifetime and play an active role in their local green power social enterprise.
The Co-op will also establish a Trust to promote energy conservation measures and sustainable energy educational activities throughout the Fens and provide a focus for environmental improvements.