Work starts on UK’s biggest wind farm co-operative

The UK’s largest consumer-owned wind farm is under construction in Scotland.

Blades are being lifted onto eight turbines at the Kirk Hill Wind Farm, in Kirkoswald, Ayrshire.

Over 5,600 members – from households and businesses across Scotland, England, and Wales – part own the farm.

They represent a new model for people-owned renewable energy as the UK moves across to clean energy.

Members of the co-operative will benefit from the low-cost, renewable energy it generates once operational in early 2024. The average predicted 1st year bill savings for its 5,600 members is £269.

Managed and run by Ripple Energy, the wind farm will have a total capacity of 18.8MW and the potential to power around 20,000 households and businesses – or 20 million full revolutions of the Falkirk Wheel.

In less than 10 minutes, the wind farm will be able to generate enough electricity to power a home for a year* and save 31,760 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year**.

The build is the latest milestone for Scotland, already known as the ‘Energy Capital of Europe’. A study by Ripple Energy reveals widespread support in Scotland for renewable energy projects, with 67% of Scots voicing their support for renewable projects in their area, and 58% more likely to support the development of a wind turbine or solar park if they had the opportunity to own part of it and lower their energy bills.

The research was commissioned by Ripple Energy as part of a new initiative called Generation YES.

Sarah Merrick, founder and CEO of Ripple Energy, said: “Kirk Hill Wind Farm represents the future of green energy. It is owned by 5,600 proud individuals who will benefit from the clean, low-cost energy generated by its turbines. 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. There’s a sense of history being made here on the west coast of Scotland as construction gets underway.

“Those who want a zero-carbon future can now part-own renewable energy projects, and directly benefit from lower and more stable electricity bills over the long-term. The future is consumer-owned renewable energy, and thousands of people in the UK have already joined the movement.”

The story so far

Ripple Energy have invested in:

1 Graig Fatha Wind Farm (south Wales) – single turbine, the UK’s first consumer owned wind farm, generating and supplying its owners with green, low-cost electricity since March 2022. Members of Graig Fatha are expected to save £977 off their energy bills this year.

2 Kirk Hill Wind Farm (west Scotland) – eight turbines, the second largest amount of equity raised by a UK co-operative society for a green energy project (£13.2m), to be energised early 2024.

3 Derill Water Solar Park (Devon) – the first shared solar park in the UK where members share the power as well as the ownership and the brand’s biggest project to date which achieved the highest ever single raise in the history of a UK co-operative (over £20m), to be energised late Summer 2024.

Project four – Coming soon. Places can be reserved here.

The next chapter

The clean energy ownership platform has launched the Generation YES initiative, calling on everyone to say yes to the development of new renewable energy projects. Those in favour can pledge their support via Ripple Energy’s website.

Following the news that the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan will be published by next summer – more than two years later than anticipated – the initiative aims to draw attention to consumer demand for real action to be taken against climate change and offer them a platform to be heard.

Consumers can reserve a spot on Ripple Energy’s fourth project here.


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