Four of eight permitted turbines have now been erected at a pioneering new wind farm in Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, on Scotland’s south west coast.
Together rated at 18.8MWp, onshore turbines at Kirk Hill when completed next year will make up the largest consumer-owned wind farm in the UK.
Members across the four nations who’ve signed up through co-operative developers Ripple Energy have been told they can save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills when power starts to flow. The average predicted first year bill savings for the co-op’s 5,600 members is £269.
Conveniently sited within three-mile sight of turbine-hating Donald Trump’s golf franchise at the Turnberry resort, consumer-owned Kirk Hill will have the potential to power a nominal 20,000 households and businesses.
Its thousands of members from households and businesses across the UK part-own the assets, representing a new model of popular, non-corporate ownership of clean power set – or so Ripple’s founder Sarah Merrick believes – to transform Britain’s transition to clean energy.
Co-op members control their individual investments on a one-person per vote basis via arms-length co-ordinators such as Ripple, and not according to the value of equity they inject.
Funded by £13.2 million of such small investments, Kirk Hill is the latest of the enterprise’s three schemes to come to market.
Its first, a single turbine at Graig Fatha in south Wales – pictured – became the UK’s first consumer owned wind farm when generation began in March 2022. Its members are expected to save £977 on average off their energy bills this year.
Britain’s first solar park in shared community ownership, Derill Water Solar Park in Devon is the brand’s biggest project to date. Costing over £20 million, the highest ever single share flotation raise in the history of UK co-operatives, Derill Water will pump its first current late next summer.
A fourth project has opened for investor registration.
A recent study commissioned by Ripple found 67% of Scots voicing support for renewable projects in their area. Over half – or 58% – say they are more likely to support a new local wind turbine or solar park if they had the opportunity to own part of it and lower their energy bills.
Ripple commissioned the research as part of its Generation YES initiative. This encourages Brits to say yes to renewable energy projects being developed in their locality and to support more clean power.
Merrick, Ripple Energy’s founder and CEO said: “Owned by 5,600 proud individuals who will benefit from the clean, low-cost energy generated by its turbines, Kirk Hill represents the future of green energy.
“There’s a sense of history being made here on the west coast of Scotland as construction gets underway, ” Merrick added. “From the moment they left the factories and made their journey across the Mediterranean and into the Port of Ayr, our members have been avidly following their journey.
“The future is consumer-owned renewable energy, and thousands of people in the UK have already joined the movement.”
Interest declared: the author invests in several UK energy co-operatives.