Energy company Ripple Energy is launching the UK’s first consumer-owned wind farm, entering into a deal with Octopus Energy and Co-op Energy for the energy it generates.
Ripple Energy unveiled its business model in 2019, which offers consumers a combination of wind farm ownership and electricity supply.
Consumers will own part of the Graig Fatha wind farm by buying shares in the co-operative that owns the farm, with around 2,000 consumers able to join. Over 4,500 consumers have already registered their interest in the first wind farm, Ripple Energy said.
The electricity generated by the farm - Graig Fatha in South Wales – will be available through Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy once the farm is operational in 2021.
Customers can switch to Co-op Energy to take part, with existing Co-op Energy and Octopus Energy customers also invited.
Ripple Energy outlined that the typical upfront cost per household of joining the scheme would be around £1,900, however consumers can choose to own between £250 worth - representing enough to supply 12.5% of a typical home's electricity per year - and enough to meet 120% of their annual electricity needs, for which it didn't give a monetary figure.
The energy company claimed that by its estimates, owning a small part of a large-scale wind farm could be up to 75% cheaper than investing in rooftop solar.
Consumers will have savings from the wind farm applied to their bill, with Ripple Energy estimating in an average year they could see reductions of up to 26% in their electricity bill. However, due to low power prices, if the wind farm was operational this year consumers would see an average of 15%.
Following on from this initial farm, more projects are set to be launched “over time”, Ripple Energy said.
"The move to a zero-carbon world opens up completely new ways of doing things. You can’t own a bit of a coal or nuclear power station to supply your home with electricity, but you absolutely can own a bit of a wind farm. Huge change is now possible, and people are embracing it," Sarah Merrick, founder and CEO of Ripple Energy, said.
Octopus Energy formed a strategic partnership with Co-op Energy last year, with Octopus taking ownership of the customers of all three energy supply brands owned by Midcounties Co-operative, including Co-op Energy, Flow and GB Energy.
Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson said: “We’re excited to get to work with Ripple Energy to make this investment more accessible and affordable than ever before. Soon anyone can benefit from the ‘green dividends’ this will provide, offsetting their own energy bills with an investment in the energy grid of the future."