Up until last week, if you went to Mean Moor, Cumbria, you’d find a wind farm owned by a private company. But now, those three majestic turbines are owned by a community energy co-op! Hooray!
High Winds community energy society had already built community owned wind turbines nearby. Now, together with other environmental organisations, they’ve just bought three new ones off the private company.
As well as generating lots of lovely clean energy, these wind turbines will contribute to a fund that gives grants to local projects. High Winds and the other organisations involved are really pleased they’ve got the new wind turbines because it “shows communities that individual people can make a difference to climate change”.
It’s been a tough couple of years for community energy, with massive government cuts and lots of uncertainty. This win shows that people still love the idea of co-operatively owning local renewables.
Wind power that’s owned by local people empowers communities. It reduces energy bills, funds local projects and cuts carbon emissions too. Yet despite this, our government is using the planning system to make it virtually impossible for new onshore wind turbines to be put up in England.
It’s great to see co-ops expanding and taking on extra wind turbines. But we also want to see local groups building new wind projects, not just taking over existing ones.
Thousands of you have already signed petitions calling on the government to support onshore wind. But there’s plenty more to do, and we need you to raise the volume on support for wind power and its benefits to communities.
Will you join us?
Banner photo: High Winds community energy society