Two more community-owned renewables schemes that you can get involved with

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Posted Jul 8 2013 by Jon Halle of Sharenergy

If you would like to see more community-owned co-operative renewable energy projects in the UK, there are practical ways that you can help. Over to Jon for some schemes you can invest in, and an offer of help for your own community renewables idea.

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Hi. We have a few things we would like to share – we are involved in two new exciting share offers and there is great news from some of the existing co-ops we work with.

To start with, however, a request for help. Many of you will know we have been very much involved with the Crida Wind Co-op project to establish 2 wind turbines near Bridgnorth in Shropshire. If you support wind co-ops please take a minute to support the planning application on the Planning Portal and on Facebook if you’re on there. Lots more information on the project website – see the ‘Support’ page. This project would provide 10% of the domestic electricity needs of Bridgnorth and provide onwership to an estimate 600 local people. The group have been working very hard against a lot of local opposition – if you want to see co-operatively owned wind then they really need your practical support.

Renewable energy co-ops don’t happen without a lot of dedication from volunteers and support from those who understand why they are important. They also need members to invest and we’re involved with two great share offers underway right now.

We love to see the co-ops we work on spawn others across the UK . This is what has happened with JCC Biomass Co-op whose share offer is underway now. This Leicestershire co-op will provide woodfuel heating for a large school. In many ways it is a successor to Woolhope Woodheat which is in the final stages of installing its first boiler (see website for pics!). The JCC Biomass project has nearly £1 million to raise in shares and offers good returns and serious carbon reductions – you can even apply online.

Racing Woolhope Woolheat for completion over the summer are Neen Sollars Community Hydro – Shropshire’s first renewable energy co-op – where they are just awaiting the final bit of turbine.

On the solar front we are very pleased to be offering administrative support to Wedmore Community Power who are also currently in the middle of a nearly £1 million share offer. Have a look at their Share Offer Document – it’s a very attractive prospect we think.

Sharenergy is very busy around the UK – we are also involved in solar in Herefordshire, medium wind in Scotland, hydro in Wales and biogas close to home. We’ll keep you posted as new opportunities arise to join co-op share offers. In the meantime, you might like to think about setting up a new co-op – we can help you every step of the way and there is now some useful funding from Co-operative Enterprise Hub, Renew Wales and DEFRA – contact us with your ideas and let’s build some real community power!

All the best

Jon Halle, Sharenergy Co-operative