Communities across the East Midlands will be able to own and operate their own green energy co-operatives thanks to a project sponsored to the tune of £265,000 by East Midlands Development Agency (emda).
The co-operatives will manage sustainable green energy resources such as wind farms, hydro-electric power plants and in some cases biomass schemes.
The project will enable around eight communities to own and produce sustainable energy by offering shares in the energy project. As part of a co-operative they will receive a share of the profit from the sale of electricity or heat.
The share scheme could generate finance for a community fund to help with other energy saving and environmental activities, such as free insulation and low energy appliances, as well as educational activities, such as site visits for students and school children.
emda has joined forces with Energy4All to help support and establish the communities across the East Midlands to set up the green energy co-operatives.
One scheme, which is already operating in South Lincolnshire, is the Fenland Green Power Co-operative that is owned and run by local people around the wind farm at Deeping St Nicholas.
The wind farm project was initially given £50,000 in 2006 by emda through Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM). The scheme is now up and running thanks to this new initiative and is offering shares to members of the public. The project will give share holders the chance to own two of the eight wind turbines in a scheme which will produce clean electricity for over 2,000 homes for the next 23 years.