The community spirit of Lanarkshire is alive this festive season as the largest wind co-operative in Scotland has reached the Â£2m mark, thanks to local investors.
Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Energy Co-operative, has six turbines built at Nutberry windfarm, near Coalburn in South Lanarkshire, and plans to build a further twelve turbines at West Browncastle site, to the west of Strathaven in April 2014.
This is the first time two wind farms have been part of the same co-operative in Scotland.
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Community Power campaigner, Anne Schiffer, said, “There is great potential in Scotland for renewable energy and it’s fantastic to see it being realised through co-operatives such as the Spirit of Lanarkshire. It’s sold shares at an incredible rate which shows the huge appetite for investing in a renewable energy future for Scotland.
“We need to see more examples of this across the country - using wind, solar and hydro schemes.”
Sales of shares took just seven weeks to reach the Â£1m mark and has now totalled Â£2m. The co-operative’s aim is to have Â£2.7m by March 2014.
Individuals, businesses or any organisation can invest between Â£250 and Â£20,000 in the co-operative by purchasing shares, with priority given to residents of South Lanarkshire.
The Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Energy Co-operative allows people in South Lanarkshire and the surrounding Local Authority areas to own a stake in two local wind farms - one at Nutberry Farm has already been built by Falck Renewables Ltd.
The co-op is supported by social enterprise Energy4All who helped to deliver four similar offers in the North of Scotland. These co-ops have all delivered an average annual return on member's investments of 8.5% since 2009.
Paul Phare, Scotland’s Development Manager at Energy4All, said, “This opportunity allows you to own a genuine stake in a wind farm that is normally only available to private investors and from as little as Â£250. This means you can share in the profits of the project while doing your bit to combat climate change. Over Â£2m has been raised already with less than Â£700,000 now available.
“If you would like to meet someone from The Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Co-operative, then please come along to the our Information Event on Tuesday 14th January 1-6pm at the Lanark Memorial Hall, St Leonard Street, Lanark, ML11 7AB where you can find out more.”
1. The co-operative is the latest in a series of similar wind energy co-ops organised by the not for profit social enterprise Energy4All. These existing Energy4All Scottish co-ops have paid an average annual return to members of around 8.5% since 2009.
2. Photo of Nutberry windfarm can be found on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/friendsoftheearthscotland
Left to right is: Tom Greatrex MP (shadow energy minister), Jim Lee (SoL Chairman) and Claudia Beamish MSP.
3. You can find information about the scheme and download a copy of the share offer document at www.spiritoflanarkshire.coop or call Energy4All on 0845 373 3612. Spirit of Lanarkshire is also on Facebook/SpiritofLanarkshire and Twitter @SoLW
4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is: * Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk