Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Wind farm co-op seeks £1.2m investment for new schemes

A company which raised almost £3m to build wind farms in Northern Ireland in 2012 is on the look out for more funding.

Northern Ireland's only wind energy co-operative, Drumlin Wind Energy raised £2.7m to build four turbines across Northern Ireland and is now seeking to raise a further £1.2m to construct two more community-owned and managed turbines at Ballyclare in Co Antrim and Newtownhamilton in Co Armagh.

The share offer is only open until April 30.

The wind energy co-operative is open to any individual or organisation to make an investment from £250 up to £20,000 with predicted average annual returns of 8.6% per year over 20 years, plus tax relief, subject to conditions.

HMRC has given advance assurance that co-op members will qualify for the 30% tax relief on their investment.

The project has been created by Belfast company NRG Solutions in partnership with Cumbria-based not-for-profit social enterprise Energy4All.

While the co-operative ownership model is new to the renewable energy sector in Ireland, the new turbines could make Drumlin the third-largest energy co-operative in the UK.

The co-op will donate £2,000 annually per turbine to each of their local communities for good causes, the most generous per kilowatt donation of any renewable energy scheme in Ireland.

Nigel Brady, chairman of Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative, said that the second of the four turbines from the first phase of Drumlin's development will be generating electricity this week.

"Our 753 co-op members are excited to see the remaining two sites well underway," he said.

"Our new sites at Ballyclare and Newtownhamilton are expected to be even more productive than the first four sites, so further investment may be of interest to current shareholders as well as new ethical investors who missed the opportunity in 2012."

Anyone interested in finding out more details can attend an information evening being held at Malone House, Belfast, on March 20.

Visit the website at drumlin.coop to download a copy of the share offer document and register for the event, or call 0845 3733612.

FACTFILE

Drumlin wants to raise £1.2m to build two turbines at Ballyclare. Anyone can invest in a range between £250 and £20,000 and returns are predicted at 8.6% a year over 20 years. Members of the co-operative will qualify for 30% tax relief.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk