Wind – Partnership to explore innovative community ownership programs for offshore wind
Energy4All has signed an exclusive MoU to cooperate in the delivery and execution of a community ownership program that will begin with the completion of a public consultation and the design of a new framework for residents of Scotland and Scottish communities to share the financial benefits of the floating wind farms that the consortium has asked to build.
Falck Renewables has worked with Energy4All for 15 years and has successfully established eight cooperatives in its Scottish onshore wind farms, enabling thousands of people to buy a stake in their local wind farm.
Established in 2002 to enable communities to own and operate their own renewable energy programs, Energy4All now supports more than 30 successful community energy cooperatives in the UK with 17,000 members. They have raised over £ 80million from their members to invest in wind, solar, hydro and biomass projects.
Richard Dibley, Managing Director of Falck Renewables Wind Ltd, said: “Our philosophy has always been to share the value generated by our onshore wind farms as widely as possible with local communities. For us, it really makes sense to extend this approach to offshore. wind power and our memorandum of understanding with Energy4All is the first step in understanding how involving local communities in the ownership of offshore developments could work.
“Local people own a stake in eight of our Scottish wind farms through cooperatives and the community of Fintry also owns a wind turbine in our Earlsburn wind farm which we operate on their behalf. These innovative programs have evolved over time but have enabled communities across the country to benefit from onshore wind power and we are now committed to expanding it to offshore wind. “
Marna McMillin, Managing Director of Energy4All, said: “Energy4All is delighted to be partnering with this exciting new venture for community wind energy in Scotland. Following the launch, capital raising and operation of eight community cooperatives with stakes in the Falck wind farms, and joint wind projects with other developers, this is an opportunity for us to leverage this knowledge and experience to take community ownership to another level. “
Carlos Martin, CEO of BlueFloat Energy, said: “We are delighted to have Energy4All on board to jointly explore a pioneering approach to community engagement in the context of offshore wind farms, uncharted territory to date. We are committed to bringing true community ownership and involvement. in offshore wind for the first time in an offshore wind development.
“Offshore wind has the potential to benefit local communities in different ways, but we are eager to explore how we can open these large-scale projects to the direct economic participation of the local population. Having a stake in a project would make people really feel like they are part of the story and share in the success of the project. We are also adopting this approach in our offshore wind project development activities in other countries where it has generated a lot of interest and positive feedback from local communities. “
Duncan Clark, UK region manager for Orsted, commented: “We are committed to delivering a green energy transformation that benefits the local communities where we build and operate our offshore wind farms. To that end, we are delighted to have entered into this MoU with Energy4All to see how we can build on this approach in Scotland. “
The consultation is expected to start in North East Scotland in October to gather views from communities on how best to serve them through offshore wind farms in terms of potential investment programs or community ownership opportunities. .
The consultation will build on initial discussions on community engagement in offshore wind at an event sponsored by Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy in March 2021 hosted by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) which has resulted in a SCDI report “Harnessing Value for Scotland from Offshore Wind Développement”