Other Renewable Energy Co-ops

The largest energy co-ops in the UK are devoted to wind power. Recently more than two thousand people in Westmill, Oxfordshire (see below) raised £4.6m to buy themselves five wind turbines. In Denmark, 20% of renewable capacity is collectively owned, and the figure is similar in Germany. In the US the largest solar co-op has 1.3 million members.

Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative
Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative opened in May 2008 in Oxfordshire. The co-op financed the purchase and construction of five wind turbines through a £4.6m fundraising campaign. Westmill Co-op has 2,374 members.

Baywind

In 1996/7 the communities of Ulverston and Barrow in Cumbria raised £1.2 million to buy two turbines. In 1998/99 a second share offer raised a further £670,000 to buy another turbine. Since then they’ve built 5 other projects. The co-op currently has over 1,300 shareholders throughout the UK and abroad.

Boyndie Wind Farm Co-op
Boyndie Wind Farm Co-op raised £750.000 and purchased a stake in Falck Renewables in 2006. The 716 members, each with a shareholding ranging from £250 to £20,000, receive annual interest on their shares. The wind farm generates 14 MW at full capacity.

Fesa
Fesa in south Germany raises capital for energy co-op projects in South-Baden. So far they have raised about €20 million for investments in regional energy systems, including nine wind turbines, eight solar power systems, one hydroelectric power system and a power saving scheme.

Danish Wind Guilds
Over 600MW of Denmarks’s wind capacity is owned by guilds with over 100,000 members owning around 3200 turbines. Partnerships between the wind guilds and wind turbine manufactureres has helped Danish industry become a world leader. Your can read more about Danish community renewables in a DTI report here.

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