Ripple Energy, the UK-based clean energy ownership platform, has today announced it has secured £1.1m in funding from the Welsh Government to begin construction of the UK’s first-ever consumer-owned wind farm – set to be completed in autumn 2021.
A further £1.8m loan has been agreed in principle from the Development Bank of Wales which can be drawn down in the summer, subject to certain conditions being met. Ripple’s customers have contributed just over £1.3m to the project, on which they will see returns via savings to their household electricity bill.
This signals a landmark moment in the history of sustainable energy in the UK, enabling any household to own their share of a wind farm, from which they will receive affordable and clean electricity via the grid.
Graig Fatha wind farm, which will be located near Coedely in South Wales, will be owned by an initial 675 households who have already signed up on the platform. All members will receive green electricity directly from their share of the wind farm later this year, saving up to 25 per cent on their electricity bills each year across the wind farm’s 25 year lifetime.
Further households can sign up to the Ripple platform and purchase a share of the new wind farm from as little as £25.
Income generated from the Welsh Government’s supported portion of the wind farm will be channelled towards initiatives supporting people facing fuel poverty in the local area, through the wind farm’s Community Benefit Fund (CBF).
This support from the Welsh Government is a clear commitment to enabling more consumer owned renewable energy projects to be developed in Wales in the future.
Sarah Merrick, CEO and Founder of Ripple Energy, comments: “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. Come Christmas, Ripple’s members will be supplied with green electricity from their very own wind farm. This is a first for the UK. It shows people can play a really active role in the UK’s clean energy future.
“Ripple’s mission is to make clean energy ownership affordable and accessible. We’re hugely grateful to the Welsh Government for its involvement in making that a reality. For too long, people have been sidelined; now they can share the benefits of green energy direct. This is just the beginning of us putting the power in the hands of household consumers.”