Community Power Cornwall, a pioneering social purpose co-operative created to help local people own and benefit from renewable energy generation, is extending its current community share offer. Scheduled to close on the 14th September, the share offer will now run until 28th November to allow more people to join the growing community energy movement.
Over £180,000 shares have already been applied for, eclipsing the co-operative’s first share offer in 2011 which raised £80,000. “The overwhelming response is evidence that people are becoming more engaged with community ownership of renewable energy,” said Paul Martin, Executive Director of Community Power Cornwall. “As a result of our first share offer we now have operational sites and several more at advanced stages of planning, demonstrating our good track record as community energy developers.”
Shares are on sale for £1 each, with a minimum investment of £50 and a maximum of £100,000. The co-operative is taking advantage of the financial incentives offered by the Feed-in Tariff and, while it does expect to pay shareholders up to 6% interest on their shares, income will also be re-invested in further community owned renewable energy developments including helping other community groups get their own projects off the ground.
One such project is the collaboration with BF Adventure in Penryn. BF Adventure is a charity which helps disadvantaged young people experience a range of outdoor activities, gaining self-confidence and skills along the way. Community Power Cornwall commissioned the installation of a 10kW Aircon Wind Turbine at the site earlier this year, reducing the charity’s energy bills and allowing it to spend more money on its core activities. A film charting the development of this project, and explaining the ethos of Community Power Cornwall in general, can be seen at www. communitypowercornwall.coop.
Community Power Cornwall evolved through community demand for ownership and integration of renewable energy technologies into everyday lives and settings. As Paul explains, “the co-operative exists to serve the community by retaining more of the benefits derived from our fantastic natural resources – including wind, solar, geothermal and tidal – here in Cornwall. Each installation that we bring into community ownership represents an income stream for at least 20 years that should allow us to pay a return to our shareholders as well as supporting our work as it develops.”
For more information, or to download a share brochure, visit www.communitypowercornwall.coop.
The co-operative’s development has been supported through a partnership between Cornwall’s sustainable energy charity Community Energy Plus and the Cornwall-based co-operative development body, Kabin.