When Energy Prospects has decided to support a Project, Energy4All will set up a Project community benefit society (also known as a co-op) for that Project. The Project Co-operative will enter into options for lease agreements with landowners, and Energy Prospects will undertake the work required for the submission of an application for planning permission, on the basis that if the planning permission is obtained and other factors remain favourable, the Project Co-operative will, with Energy4All’s support, issue a Community Share Offer to secure the capital to construct and operate the Project wind farm, including an element of capital to return to Energy Prospects the planning application costs and to pay the applicable success fee.
The minimum cost of becoming a member is £250, so almost everyone can join a green energy co-operative and the maximum legal investment is £100,000. The co-op then purchases a share of the wind farm and profits from the sale of green electricity are distributed to members through an annual dividend. Preference for joining the scheme is given to people living in areas where the wind farms are developed, to maximise the economic benefits to the local community. Investors receive their capital back at the end of the project lifetime and the co-operative structure ensures that money does not buy power. Co-operatives combine business efficiency with honesty and fairness and all members can have a say in how the co-op is run one member one vote.
A co-operative or community benefit society is set up to meet mutual needs and belongs to its members and is run democratically on the basis of one member, one vote.
Community benefit societies pay share interest to it’s members, any profits are used for local community benefit or held in reserve for future use by the society. All societies are registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (the 2014 Act), which consolidates all previous legislation.
If you would like to receive further information on the progress of these projects please register your interest.