UK’s first consumer owned wind farm launches

Build a cleaner, better world and lower the cost of your energy by owning a slice of the UK’s first consumer owned wind farm.

UK start up Ripple Energy today launches the UK’s very first consumer owned wind farm.  Graig Fatha wind farm in South Wales will be owned by the consumers it supplies. It aims to unleash a new generation of consumers genuinely creating the clean energy future they want to see.

Ripple is partnering with Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy to get the electricity from the wind farm to its owners’ homes. Customers can switch to Co-op Energy to join the scheme. Existing Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy customers are also invited to take part. Once the wind farm is operational, in early 2021, savings from their wind farm will be applied to their electricity bill. 

Until now the only way to own a source of clean energy has been via solar panels.  Ripple estimates owning a tiny part of a large-scale wind farm could be up to 75% cheaper. If you move home, you simply tell Co-op Energy or Octopus Energy and they supply the electricity to your new home. 

Customers will own part of the wind farm by buying shares in the co-operative that owns Graig Fatha.  Around 2000 customers will be able to join this first pilot project. Ripple plans to launch more projects over time. 

The upfront cost for a typical household would be around £1900. This share of the wind farm would expect to generate enough electricity to meet the needs of a typical household for 25 years. People can choose to own as little as £250 worth (enough to supply 12.5% of a typical home’s electricity each year), right up to as much as would meet 120% of their annual electricity needs. Ripple estimates in an average year customers can reduce their electricity bill by up to 26%*

Ripple wants to transform energy ownership. Its mission is to make clean energy ownership affordable and accessible for everyone, everywhere. Graig Fatha is the first step to making that happen. 

Co-op Energy & Octopus Energy are supporting as the launch partner for this project due to its credentials in community power generation. Co-op Community Energy, the joint venture between Co-op Midcounties and Octopus Energy, has already begun providing energy to customers from small-scale community generators, enhancing investment in renewables & communities, and driving forward the decentralised energy grid of the future.

Sarah Merrick, Founder and CEO of Ripple Energy said:

“What could be better than owning a bit of a wind farm to supply your home with renewable, low cost power. People are ready for change.  They want to create a better, cleaner future and we can enable them to do it.”

She added:

“The move to a zero-carbon world opens up completely new ways of doing things. You can’t own a bit of a coal or nuclear power station to supply your home with electricity, but you absolutely can own a bit of a wind farm.  Huge change is now possible, and people are embracing it.

Tom Hoines, Managing Director, Co-op Community Energy commented:

“Co-op Midcounties have been working with Ripple for a number of years, and we at Co-op Community Energy are thrilled to continue to support their first site at Graig Fatha. The partnership with Ripple is a significant milestone in changing the way in which we power the UK, giving more people the opportunity to directly own how their electricity is generated.

“As the leading supporter of renewable, community generated power in the UK, Co-op Energy and Co-op Community Energy is now working with more than 80 community generation projects, providing expertise and ensuring that generators are paid a fair price. Making a positive difference is fundamental to our cooperative values and we’re proud that anyone joining Ripple will be helping to decarbonise the planet while supporting local communities, not just at Graig Fatha, but across the country.”

Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy said:

“Affordable investment in your own clean, green wind farm is a huge leap forward for the energy grid of the future. Investing in more renewable energy and powering your own homes when the wind is blowing can end our reliance on dirty fossil fuels faster than we hoped.

“We’re excited to get to work with Ripple Energy to make this investment more accessible and affordable than ever before. Soon anyone can benefit from the ‘green dividends’ this will provide, offsetting their own energy bills with an investment in the energy grid of the future. We’re proud to be championing community energy projects such as these and leading the way in innovative solutions to the climate crisis.”

Editor’s notes

*note, due to current low power prices partly due to Covid-19, savings are lower, around 15% of a typical electricity bill

Cost comparison with rooftop solar:

Cost comparison based on scheme required to generate 2,900kWh.  Rooftop solar costs are based on e.on solar’s website (correct on 18.03.20, assuming a 11% capacity factor) compared to the cost of Ripple’s first wind farm.

About Ripple Energy

Over 4500 have registered their interest in the first wind farm, double the number that can be supplied by the project.

Ripple is a clean energy ownership platform.  It was founded by Sarah Merrick in 2017. It is based in Walthamstow, East London and currently employs 8 people. It was voted Startup of the Year 2019 by Seedrs investors and Business Green Technology Awards.  As well as effectively crowdfunding wind farm, Ripple itself is crowdfunded. It secured £850,000 of investment in 2019 from more than 1000 individual investors. It has just concluded a smaller, second round, which will receive match funding from the Government’s Future Fund.   

About Co-op Energy

Co-op Energy is the leading supporter of community generated power in the UK, and the only supplier to offer a tariff powered by 100% community generated power. We are proud to be part of the Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative, built on co-operative values. We’re committed to fair pricing, honesty and simplicity. Our power comes from local suppliers all over the country generating green energy from wind, sunshine and water.

About Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy launched to the public in April 2016. It supplies 100% renewable electricity and gas to over 1.5 million UK homes. Octopus Energy is the only Which? Recommended energy supplier for a third year in a row, topping the table in 2020. It also recently won Best Utility at the Utility Week Awards. Founded by e-commerce entrepreneurs, Octopus Energy has a different starting point to other suppliers, aiming to redefine what is possible for consumers and the system by using technology and data to deliver the best products and experiences.

Octopus Energy is backed by Octopus Group, a financial services and energy firm, which manages more than £8.6bn of funds. Octopus has invested more than £2.7bn in renewable assets across Europe, while its ventures arm has backed UK success stories like Zoopla, Depop, Secret Escapes and SwiftKey. In April 2020, Octopus Energy became a UK tech unicorn, valued at £1 billion following an investment from leading Australian energy company Origin Energy.

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