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    Is community wind energy a worthwhile investment for landowners?

    By Travis Benn – (2 min read) 

    Earlier in the year, a community in south Cumbria pooled their finances together and bought a wind farm. It’s thought to be the first wind farm to transfer from a commercial developer to community ownership. The site sits next to the first community owned wind farm and joins the growing list of community based renewable projects. Will the recent subsidies cut stem the tide or are there opportunities here that landowners can tap into?

    In February it was announced that Mean Moor, which is home to three turbines, had new owners – the local community. The wind farm sits next to the Baywind Energy Co-operative, which was created in 1996 and was the first wind farm to belong to the local community, it has also been a model for the numerous community owned wind farms that have been built since, such as Four Winds in Chesterfield and Boyndie Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire.

    The transfer of Mean Moor, which is on the outskirts of the Lake District, was made possible by the support of ethical renewables investment company Thrive Renewables, who co-invested with three Cumbrian energy cooperatives. 

     

    The case for community ownership is compelling. Some benefits include: electricity produced feeds into the local grid; economic advantages such as jobs creation; the delivery of conservation and environmental projects; provision of environment education; profits go direct to the local stakeholders rather than corporate and overseas investors; and money is invested in charitable causes. It could also be a way to reduce scepticism and nimbyism around renewables. For example, in Denmark more than 80 percent of the 6000 plus wind turbines are locally owned – perhaps if people in this country were encouraged to have some buy-in to the projects, rather than having wind farms imposed upon them, attitude towards renewables would be different. 

    There are over 40 renewable projects in the UK that are owned by community co-operatives. Assel Valley is currently in progress and will soon be added to that number, but the recent cut in government subsidies means there is now less opportunity for local co-operatives to create wind farms. However with the devolved administrations seeking to employ more favourable policies towards renewables, there are likely to be new opportunities in Wales and Scotland.

    There are certainly opportunities for landowners, besides receiving land rent payments, there is also the potential of receiving shares in the project. Plus this could be a great way to counter the nimby culture if locals are choosing to build wind farms in their own back yard. And for the landowner who is passionate about local community or ethical investments, and wants to see renewables benefit local people, then this may well be worth exploring. 

    For further information, please contact:

    Travis Benn

    Co-Founder

    0203 375 6144

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    • “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

       

      Mark Charles, Exeter

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    • “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

       

      Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV Land Agent, GSC Grays

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    • “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

       

      Ali Walker Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

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    • “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

       

      Ben Ardern Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

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    • “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

       

      Sarah Bishop, Commercial Disputes Solicitor

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    • “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

       

      Grant Jones, Chartered accountant, solicitor and practicing arbitrator

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    • “I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

       

      Nick Kenyon, CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers

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      • “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing
        and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

         

        Mark Charles,

        Exeter

      • “Job well done”

         

        Sara James,

        Durham

      • “Early non-payment discovered so very happy with outcome”

         

        Martin Roberts,

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        that the payments have been corrected and appreciate your help with this very much”

         

        David Terrence,

        Devon

      • “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

         

        Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV

        Land Agent, GSC Grays

      • “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

         

        Ali Walker

        Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

      • “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

         

        Ben Ardern

        Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

      • “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

         

        Sarah Bishop,

        Commercial Disputes Solicitor

      • “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

         

        Grant Jones,

        Chartered accountant, solicitor and practising arbitrator

      • ““I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy
        decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

         

        Nick Kenyon,

        CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers


    • Testimonial with bg

      • “We found your report informative and easy to read, it was good to see how the wind farm is performing and we were pleased with the results of the audit”

         

        Mark Charles, Exeter

        Share
      • Sara James, Durham

        Share
      • Martin Roberts, Peterborough

        Share
      • Tracy Maria, Cumbria

        Share
      • David Terrence, Devon

        Share
      • “In every instance Accounting for Energy have identified and recovered shortfalls in rent for my clients. Not only do the landowners receive back payments but they are also keen to show developers that they are being held to account.”

         

        Chris Thyer MRICS FAAV Land Agent, GSC Grays

        Share
      • “We don’t have comparable leases in renewable energy meaning there are few examples to draw from, so it’s always good to have checks and balances in place. We would recommend Accounting for Energy for their diligence.”

         

        Ali Walker Property Co-ordinator, Bath and Wells Diocese, Church of England

        Share
      • “The information provided by the turbine owner seemed to be comprehensive. The issue comes with knowing if all the data is complete and the audit was able to identify areas that we should have been receiving royalties on.”

         

        Ben Ardern Financial Controller, Dewlay Cheesemakers

        Share
      • “I worked with Travis on a set of arbitral proceedings to recover unpaid royalties on behalf of the landowners of a large renewable energy site. I was very inspired by his passion for his industry and his tireless commitment to getting the best results.”

         

        Sarah Bishop, Commercial Disputes Solicitor

        Share
      • “Travis is the go-to person for renewable energy landowner royalty payments. He gets into the details of a case, and is very tenacious in identifying and recovering any monies owed to landowners.”

         

        Grant Jones, Chartered accountant, solicitor and practicing arbitrator

        Share
      • “I would recommend Accounting for Energy because they are clearly experts in this area, and they were good to work with. It was an easy decision to get them on board because we really didn’t have the expertise or the time to be trawling through the lease and power purchase agreement.”

         

        Nick Kenyon, CEO, Dewlay Cheesemakers

        Share

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