22 July 2018
Some Green Party Members in Wales have gone beyond the every day activities of standing in elections and trying to win votes; they have helped to set up a Community Benefit Society, got planning permission to erect a wind turbine, bought one, yes, a wind turbine, and are now ready to share all the benefits with anyone who cares enough to invest a small sum of money (or a large one).
About Grannell Community Energy: Lindsay Thomas and Elly Foster (Ceredigion Green Party) set up Grannell Community Energy (GCE) in 2015 to promote green energy projects. GCE subsequently acquired from a local wind turbine developer, Seren Energy, the rights to a turbine site once planning permission was obtained. On the way they had enormous help from a number of organisations who are experts in this field. Amongst these is a small social enterprise in Shrewsbury called Sharenergy where Leila Kiersch and Jeremy Thorp (both from Montgomeryshire Green Party) made sure the project would be financially viable and that all the technical and administrative elements are in place. Leila has since joined Lindsay and Elly on the Board of Directors (as have Jane O'Brien, Guy Hopwood and Brian Mark), whilst Jeremy is the main contact person for the Share Offer that was launched at the end of June 2018.
Our Turbine: Due to the Westminster Government's lack of enthusiasm for wind turbines, financial help in the form of Feed in Tariffs (FiT's), our project can only go ahead with a second hand turbine. We found a brilliant one in The Netherlands. It's 9 years old, has a fantastic service record, and is in a very good condition. We have funds in our budget to refurbish it to an extremely high standard. It is an Enercon E48, 74m to tip with a 48m blade diameter. It could generate 800KW but it is to be de-rated to 500KW due to constraints on the national grid. It is currently in storage and will be transported to the site once the site is ready.
The Site: Ceredigion is one of the least known counties of Wales. It is north of Pembrokeshire and south of Snowdonia. It has hills, Cardigan Bay, two universities and farms full of sheep. Many communities are poor with much of its rural housing stock in dire need of upgrading to sustainable standards. It is in the middle of Ceredigion, on top of a flat-topped hill, on Ffrwd Farm, in the centre of a Welsh-speaking community, that we have planning permission to erect this one turbine. The family who own Ffrwd Farm are in total support. In meetings held in nearby village halls we have received warm welcomes. Many farmers regard renewable energy projects as a good way to diversify.
How to Join: This project is one that all Green Party members throughout the UK should wish to join. By becoming a member, through buying shares, not only do you support this small Welsh community and of course help to create just one more renewable energy project, you also stand to receive a fair return on your investment (projected to be 5%). Please go and find our website which is GrannellCoop.org.uk and is available on the Wales Green Party website: WalesGreenParty.com.
We look forward to welcoming you as a member.