Energy4All Joins Partnership in bid to Take Community Ownership Offshore
Falck Renewables, Ørsted and BlueFloat Energy partner with Energy4All to explore innovative community ownership schemes for offshore wind
Inverness, UK, 27 September 2021 – The Falck Renewables, Ørsted and BlueFloat Energy consortium bidding in the latest ScotWind leasing round has joined forces with community ownership experts Energy4All to champion inclusive opportunities for Scottish communities to own a stake in offshore wind developments.
Energy4All has signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding to co-operate in the delivery and execution of a community ownership scheme which will start by carrying out a public consultation and designing a new framework allowing residents of Scotland and Scottish communities to share the financial benefits of the floating wind farms the consortium has applied to build.
Falck Renewables has a 15-year track record of working with Energy4All having successfully set up eight co-operatives at its Scottish onshore wind farms, enabling thousands of people to buy a stake in their local wind farm.
Set up in 2002 to allow communities to own and operate their own renewable energy schemes, Energy4All now supports more than 30 successful community energy co-operatives in the UK with 17,000 members. They have raised over £80 million from their members to invest in wind, solar, hydro and bio-mass schemes.
Richard Dibley, managing director of Falck Renewables Wind Ltd, said: “Our ethos has always been to share the value generated from our onshore wind farms as widely as we can with local communities. For us it really makes sense to extend that approach to offshore wind and our MOU with Energy4All is the first step in understanding how involving local communities in owning offshore developments might work.
“Local people own a stake in eight of our Scottish wind farms through co-operatives and the community of Fintry also own a turbine at our Earlsburn Wind Farm which we operate on their behalf. These innovative schemes have evolved over time but have ensured that communities across the country have benefitted from onshore wind energy and we are now committed to extending that to offshore wind.”
Marna McMillin, Chief Executive of Energy4All, said: “Energy4All is thrilled to be partnering in this exciting new venture for community owned wind energy in Scotland. Following the launch, capital raise and operation of eight community co-operatives with stakes in Falck wind farms, and joint wind projects with other developers, this is an opportunity for us to build on that knowledge and experience to take community ownership to another level.”
Carlos Martin, CEO of BlueFloat Energy said: “We are delighted to have Energy4All onboard to jointly explore a pioneering approach towards community engagement in the context of offshore wind farms, an uncharted territory to date. We are committed to bringing genuine community involvement and ownership into offshore wind for the first time ever in an offshore wind development. Offshore wind has the potential to benefit local communities in many different ways but we are keen to explore how we can open up these large-scale projects to direct economic participation from local people. Having a stake in a project would allow people to really feel that they are part of the story and share in the project’s success. We are also adopting this approach in our offshore wind project development activities in other countries where it has received a fair amount of interest and positive reaction from local communities.”
Duncan Clark, Head of UK Region for Orsted, said: “We are committed to delivering a green energy transformation that benefits local communities where we construct and operate our offshore wind farms. To this end, we are delighted to have agreed this MOU with Energy4All to see how we can build on this approach in Scotland.”
The consultation is set to begin in North-East Scotland in October to gather the views of communities on how they can be best served by offshore wind farms in terms of potential investment schemes or community ownership opportunities.
The consultation will build on initial discussions on community engagement in offshore wind at a March 2021 Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy sponsored event organized by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) which resulted in an SCDI report “Harnessing Value for Scotland from Offshore Wind Development” (https://www.scdi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/SCDI-Falck-BlueFloat-Report.pdf).