Pennine Community Power is a Community Benefit Society founded with the aim of generating renewable energy within the Upper Calder Valley and distributing the profits to fund further local sustainability projects. Please keep reading for a brief history of how we got our first project off the ground in 2012.
The Sustainability Plan for Blackshaw Parish identified the need to produce more of our own renewable energy together with a need to generate funds for community projects within the Parish. The BEAT Working Group explored how we might be able to achieve these two goals by utilising the Feed in Tariff scheme which pays a premium for every unit of electricity produced from renewable sources.
After investigating the potential of solar, wind and hydro projects, we decided to explore the possibility of using a community wind turbine to achieve or goals. Blackshaw Head has an abundance of wind resources, and the cost of a turbine taken together with the potential for revenue generation and investment payback, made a wind turbine the stand out choice. Our first steps were to consult widely within the Parish to assess interest levels; we held several public meetings and issued a questionnaire at the village fête. After receiving some very positive feedback, we decided to press ahead and formed a separate working group to drive the project forward.
Pennine Community Power formation
After taking advice on the most appropriate organisational structure, we decided to set up a Community Benefit Society to allow us to issue community shares with the objective of raising the £60,000 necessary to construct the turbine. At the same time, we started to apply for grant funding, located a suitable site to host the turbine, and selected the most appropriate turbine model. After obtaining planning permission, we received the fantastic news that we had been awarded £30,000 by Village SOS. Pennine Community Power was off to a great start!
In order to meeting the approaching Feed in Tariff deadline, we had to raise the remaining £30,000 relatively quickly to leave enough time for the turbine to become operational. After a few weeks of detailed business planning, we launched the share offer at the end of June 2012. The share offer was to run for a total of 15 years with a suggested interest of 4% per annum based on our projected revenue from the turbine. The response was fantastic and by the beginning of August we had recruited a total of 65 shareholders (members) and the project could go ahead!
Our 10kW, Bergey Excel turbine was erected during September and October 2012 and was fully commissioned by the end of October.
You can keep up to date with all of PCP’s activities and see how much power the community turbine is producing at www.powerinthecommunity.org