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Renewable energy co-op raises £1.6m to build two wind turbines

A new renewable energy co-operative has raised over £1m to build two new wind turbines.

Drumlin Wind Energy, Northern Ireland's first community-owned wind energy co-operative, launched a public share offer in June which has now raised £1.6m, enough to build two 250kW wind turbines.

The scheme, which gives community members, businesses and organisations the chance to invest between £250 and £20,000 in the project, has now been extended until November

The scheme is also eligible for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief at 30% and offers investors an average annual return of 10% over 20 years.

Drumlin said it was now extending the investment deadline until November 30 in order to give more people in the area a chance to get involved and to raise enough capital to build three or more turbines.

Director Paul Phare said that there has been a high level of interest in the investment opportunity.

"Whilst this is a new concept for Northern Ireland, similar schemes in the UK and across Europe have been hugely successful," he said

"The 'on-the-ground' response from Northern Ireland has gained significant momentum over recent weeks and in response, we're extending the public share offer period in order to maximise local involvement, as this is a vital part of the Drumlin ethos."

To date, Drumlin has attracted a wide range of investors including the Fermanagh Trust and Bryson Energy, which both invested the maximum amount of £20,000, as well as prominent environmentalist, Jonathon Porritt who publicly invested in and backed the scheme.

Drumlin is a joint venture between Co Armagh entrepreneur Andrew McMurray and social enterprise Energy4All, which is currently involved in seven successful wind energy co-operatives in the UK.

Details of the share offer can be found at www.drumlin.coop.