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Residents urged to join democratic wind farm co-operative

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 18, 2012

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Chief reporter

Three proposed wind farms in Devon are to be developed through a democratic co-operative in which residents can invest between £250 and £20,000.

The Devon Community Wind Cooperative is being set-up with the aim of owning three new projects across the county.

It is being set up by Energy4All which was established in 2002 and already has seven successful co-operatives mainly in the north of England and Scotland.

Working with developers ClearWinds, they said it would give the people of the Devon the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the issues of climate change and invest in the turbines.

John Malone, development director at Energy4All, says: "In order for the proposed Devon Community Wind Co-operative to succeed, we very much want the people of Devon to get behind it in any way they can.

"The intention is that all three projects will be owned by the new co-operative. And we are encouraging people from all walks of life to get involved, with first priority being given to people living close to the projects and then to Devon residents.

"This is a real opportunity to make a very practical contribution to the fight against climate change whilst earning a return on an ethical investment."

"We have a great opportunity now, to really start making inroads into creating a 'greener' and more energy self sufficient county."

The three sites, which are being developed by ClearWinds working in partnership with Energy4All, span the county.

It is proposing two wind turbines at Torr Quarry community wind farm, near Kingsbridge in the South Hams, and single turbines at Waytown community wind turbine at Inwardleigh in West Devon and Rye Park community wind turbine near Bratton Fleming in North Devon.

All the turbines would have a hub height of 50 metres (164ft) and a maximum height to the blade tip of 78 metres (256ft). Each would have a 25- year life span.

The minimum cost of becoming a member of the cooperative is £250 while the maximum legal investment is £20,000.

The co-operative which is run on a one member, one vote basis, then purchases a share of the wind farm and profits from the sale of green electricity are distributed to members through an annual dividend.

Preference for joining the scheme is given to people living in areas where the wind farms are developed, to maximise the economic benefits to the local community. Investors receive their capital back at the end of the project.

Anyone interested in supporting the projects, helping with the set up of the cooperative, or being involved in discussions about community funds can visit www.devonwind.coop or contact Mr Malone on 01229 821028.

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  • John_E4A  |  June 20 2012, 12:17PM

    Hello, I just wanted to clarify the points raised by 2ladybugs. The number of wind turbines mentioned here – four – is the total number of turbines that are proposed to form the Devon Community Wind Co-operative. The planning application is for four turbines in total. We have called the proposed site with two wind turbines 'Torr Quarry Community Wind Farm' – to differentiate it from the other two proposed sites - Waytown Community Wind Turbine and Rye Park Community Wind Turbine, where single turbines are proposed. I hope this clarifies the situation. For more information on how the Devon Community Wind Co-op will operate, see http://tinyurl.com/cmbntb2

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  • David4You  |  June 20 2012, 7:08AM

    What a delightful scam! Bribe the locals to part with their cash (and their silence) then cream off the profits....

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  • jbird65  |  June 18 2012, 2:35PM

    Are these the same things that were stuck on the roof of the council office, that turned out to be useless ?

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  • hensrule  |  June 18 2012, 1:49PM

    They are playing with the notion of a 'co-operative'. What they mean is they want your money and, as you say, the details regarding the likely returns are sparse. It's a bit like gambling, as who can say when the wind will blow and for how long? In these uncertain times, too, there's a good chance the Government will (hopefully) pull the subsidies away from these money grubbing energy companies. What would happen to your investments then?

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  • Stork  |  June 18 2012, 12:38PM

    It would be nice to know what the deal is, so that we all know how much we're being fleeced by the big windfarm owners. Can someone share the details with us on profit margins, etc. I have heard that some windfarms have paid for themselves in as little as 9 months ( yes, nine months) with the government subsidies. It would be interesting to find out if this is true. Anybody......?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  June 18 2012, 9:17AM

    Hello, what's this about then. Three sites with two wind turbines on one site and one turbine on two other different sites. Why are they calling these wind farms? How many are they actually putting planning in for?

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