Electricity

Customer-owned wind power plant in UK almost finished

Own wind farm and lower your bill with green electricity ripple graig fatha

Photo: Ripple Energy

Published

November 15, 2021

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Published:

November 15, 2021

Country:

Comments:

1

Share

Graig Fatha, the United Kingdom’s first wind power unit that hundreds of people will own, is under construction, and due to high interest, the second project is underway.

Wind power plant Graig Fatha, which Ripple Energy will operate, is owned by 907 individuals. They crowdfunded EUR 2.6 million, BBC reported and added it would start delivering electricity after New Year.

Crowdfunding for renewables is becoming widespread in the European Union as well. The cooperative model was used before in the UK but Graig Fatha brings innovation because consumers will be the owners of a wind power turbine, according to the BBC.

Owners of the wind turbine will lower bills by 30 percent

Every participating household is expected to save EUR 272 annually on average and lower its bill by 30 percent. The community’s reduction in the carbon footprint is estimated at one thousand tons of CO2.

The savings rate for Graig Fatha’s owners is the difference between the wholesale electricity price and the low and stable cost of operating the wind farm.

The more of the wind farm they own, the more green, zero-carbon electricity they own and the more significant their bill saving will be, according to Ripple.

The company has also announced the construction of the second wind farm.

Demand is expected to be extremely high, so reserve your shares now to avoid missing out, Ripple said on its website.

Soaring electricity prices increase the savings

Ripple announced that due to the increase in wholesale prices in recent months, savings would be significantly higher than the initial estimates when interested individuals first signed up.

The first estimated savings were less than EUR 0.047 per kWh during the first year, and now, 15 months later, Ripple expects savings to be around EUR 0.094 per kWh for at least the first year of the wind farm’s lifetime.

The windfarm’s lifespan is estimated at 25 years.

The BBC reported the wind power unit wouldn’t directly supply its owners. The electricity will be sold to Co-operative Energy, owned by an Octopus company, which supplies the owners with electricity.

The price depends on how much energy the wind farm generates, on electricity prices, and the amount of the wind farm owned by the individual, BBC wrote, adding the average owner paid EUR 2,583 for their share.

Calculation

According to Ripple, an average UK household uses 2,900 kWh of electricity per year.

“If individuals wanted to own enough of the wind farm to meet their entire electricity usage, they would have needed to pay around EUR 2,200 up-front for their share of the wind farm. Their share of the wind farm would be expected to generate 2,900 kWh of low cost, green electricity each year”, Ripple stressed.

Their bill from Ripple’s current supply partner, Co-operative Energy, would cost around EUR 908 a year without Ripple. Now, with their Ripple wind farm savings added, they would expect to save around EUR 0.094 per kWh multiplied by the 2,900 kWh of generation from their wind farm per year.

“That results in an expected saving of EUR 272 a year. Ripple members tend to own more than a typical UK household would, so their average saving is set to be EUR 338,” Ripple concluded.

Comments (1)
Geoffrey / November 17, 2021

The personal economic benefit here is substantial, but what does this say about the social aspects of wind energy development? The UK has been notoriously bad (compared to countries like Germany) at creating a development environment friendly to local communities. Local opposition and organized opposition groups have been a significant obstacle. Does this symbolize a change? Has the UK started to bring more stakeholders into the process? Or is the only thing attracting these crowd-funders the economic benefit?

Also, this reminds me that we Americans have had it easy when it comes to the cost of energy. If I were to save €0.09/kWh on my electric bill, the utility would be paying me!

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