Ecodyn was approached by a farmer on South Ronaldsay who wanted a small wind turbine but was concerned about their reliability, particularly in such a remote and windy area. Over the next several months, we set about obtaining planning approval for and installing a 65kW Harbon turbine connected to his farm and house.
We then established an industrial provident society, The Mount Pleasant Renewable Energy Co-operative Limited and developed a robust, independently audited business plan with which we were able to attract sufficient investment to fund the project entirely. The co-operative approach to renewable energy investments has several advantages, including:
- No requirement to make regular payments despite irregular income
- No need to pay all your profits to the bank
- 30% rebate on income tax for investors through Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Protection from Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax.
The turbine was installed in November 2014 and both it and the co-operative structure are performing even better than expected. Our experience of developing renewable energy co-operatives has already attracted attention from several community groups that are interested in doing this sort of thing but horrified by the interest rates demanded by commercial banks.