Bristol community fund raises £7.7m for two new Scottish wind farms

Nathanael Williams

Bristol company banks on natural abundance of Scottish wind

A Bristol based renewable energy fund has raised £7.7m in under a month to help build two new onshore windfarms in Scotland.

The farms, funded by Thrive Renewables, will have combined capacity of 11 megawatts (MW) and will be able to generate enough power for over 8,500 homes.

In addition to the windfarms, to be developed in West Lothian, the investment will pay for a future solar power project connected to the first two windfarms.

“There is a significant appetite for investing in and supporting clean energy for future generations.” Matthew Clayton

Speaking about the projects Matthew Clayton, managing director of Thrive Renewables, said: “We exceeded all our expectations. We had set a target of £7.5m by the close date of 27th February 2017, so to have raised over this amount in just four weeks confirms that there is a significant appetite for investing in and supporting clean energy for future generations.

“Thrive exists to connect individuals with cleaner, smarter energy, allowing our investors to contribute directly to change. We are delighted to welcome another 600 new investors to the Thrive community and for the continued vote of confidence from our existing investors. The money raised through the bond will allow us to continue to grow our portfolio of renewable projects to delivering positive financial, environmental and social returns.”

Thrive, although based in Bristol, now holds more than a third of its projects in Scotland including developments of windfarms near Kirkcaldy and West Lothian. Together, its projects across the UK generate enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.

The local fund is keen on Scotland because of its natural abundance of renewable energy, yet only seven per cent of Thrive investors are registered as living in Scotland. A spokesperson told CommonSpace: “The next step is to see more local communities, rural and urban, see their desired projects invested in. But we hope to see more investors from Scotland.”

Thrived recieved minimum investments of £5 and a total of 938 people contributed funds to the project. Thrive Renewables hope to be able to repay all contributors by 2024.

Scotland has massive and untapped renewable energy resources, however environemntalists complain Scotland’s renewables capacity goes under-developed due to UK Government policy which has seen funding and projects slashed.

Picture courtesy of ms.akr

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