World’s largest consumer-owned wind farm opens for membership – offering households protection from soaring energy bills
Ripple Energy offers customers the opportunity to stabilise their energy bills by owning a stake in a wind farm
Membership is now open for the world's largest consumer-owned wind farm at Kirk Hill in Ayrshire, Scotland. The pioneering wind farm will provide its owners with clean and affordable energy, helping to protect them from future energy price shocks.
The wind farm will be formed of eight turbines and will generate a total of 18.8MW of clean electricity – enough to power 20,000 households. In less than 10 minutes the wind farm will generate enough electricity to power the average UK home for 1 year. Kirk Hill will reduce carbon emissions by 12,750 kgs per annum – over 600kg on average per owner.
Ownership of the wind farm will be via a cooperative. Ripple offers households and businesses the opportunity to:
Sarah Merrick, CEO of Ripple Energy, said: "Owning part of a wind farm is the easiest way to protect yourself from future energy price spikes. Wind delivers clean, stable priced power for the long term. We want as many people as possible to benefit, whilst also reducing their carbon footprint.
"The current energy price crisis is hurting households across the country. With Ripple, people take control of their energy costs, creating a greener future at the same time."
Ripple makes green energy ownership easy and affordable. It enables households to buy part of a wind farm to power their home, helping to slash their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Owners get savings applied to their electricity bill that reflect the difference between the market price for electricity and the wind farm's low and stable operating costs. When market prices are high, like at present, savings are high. When the market price is lower, savings fall too. The net effect is to help stabilise bills.
Households can sign up to Ripple, join the cooperative and buy shares in the wind farm in a few minutes. Ownership is flexible, starting at just £25. People can even generate more clean power than they use, as the cap on ownership is the equivalent of 120% of their consumption. The more they own, the more green power they get, the more they save.
Around £1,700 will purchase enough of the wind farm to power the typical UK home. This results in the same CO2 saving as over 200 trees every year and estimated savings on their electricity bill of £3,120 over the wind farm's 25-year life span.
The Kirk Hill wind farm is now open for share purchases. With over 4,600 reservations, Ripple's biggest project to date is expected to sell out quickly, as people look for new solutions to stabilise their bills and simple ways to make a real climate impact.
Ripple's first wind farm, Graig Fatha, in Coedely, South Wales, completed construction in December 2021. Graig Fatha's 907 owners are estimated to save around £275 on their electricity bill in its first year of operation, largely driven by the high market prices. The wind farm is expected to be energised in March this year.
Ripple is working with new suppliers including So Energy and Unify Energy in anticipation of them becoming supply partners in the coming months, to deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the country, alongside its existing supply partner Your Co-op Energy, powered by Octopus.
Simon Oscroft, Co-Founder of So Energy, said: “At So Energy we’re committed to ensuring our customers get as close as possible to the green power we procure on their behalf. As well as supplying 100% green electricity as standard across all our tariffs, it’s great to see Ripple taking forward the work that our parent company ESB have done in building out 450MW of wind capacity in the UK, including this Kirk Hill wind farm.
“This fantastic partnership with Ripple will give customers not only the opportunity to have a secure supply of 100% green electricity from this specific wind farm directly to their home, but also to literally part own the wind farm itself, saving them money and carbon.”
Sarah Bateman, CEO of Unify Energy said: “We’re so excited to be working in partnership with Ripple to make it even easier and more sustainable for landlords and occupiers to manage their energy usage. By investing in a portion of the wind farm, businesses and landlords alike are able to reap the positive benefits of both a green energy supply and Unify Energy’s unique service.’’
Lizzie Hieron, Chief Operating Officer of Utilities at Coop Energy said: “We were delighted to be the energy partner for Ripple's first wind farm, Graig Fatha and we are just as keen to be involved in the second one. At Co-op Energy we fully support the growth of renewable energy across the UK and strongly believe in making ownership and investment accessible for everyone. Sarah and the team have a unique and compelling proposition that we believe is perfect for our members, helping to reduce their energy costs and live low carbon lifestyles.”
In addition to passing savings to Ripple's members, the Kirk Hill wind farm will provide a community benefit fund of £94,000 per year. The Co-op will work with the local community to determine the best approach to manage the community benefit fund. Ripple intend to focus the fund on fuel poverty actions or environmental projects, and will be conscious of other local needs when directing exactly how the fund is to be used.
Michael Chamberlain, a Ripple member, said: "I am proud to be a Ripple member as it is a pioneering model that facilitates individuals and families to directly join with others to collectively reduce or eliminate their carbon footprint by co-investing in a source of renewable energy. It is also the first option that separates the home from the generation which makes it accessible to more people."