Dingwall Wind Co-op
Dingwall Wind Co-op operates a 250kW turbine on the property of Knockbain Farm near Dingwall. The owner David Lockett was introduced to Sharenergy, a co-operative that helps set up other energy co-operatives: “We were initially intending to take out a loan to build the turbine. When we heard about the co-operative route it seemed like an obvious way to go as benefits are shared with the local community.”
Legal structure & set-up
As a co-operative Dingwall Wind Co-op is owned by its members. Every member has one vote at the Annual General Meeting regardless of the amount of shares owned. The day-to- day running of the co-operative is managed by a board that currently comprises five members including David Lockett’s son Richard. David was a founder director but stood down from the board that runs the co-operative.
Sharenergy is paid to provide continued administrative services for the co-operative.
A total of £856,000 (€1,083,500) required for the project was raised through a share offer, which makes the project the first wind development in Scotland that is 100% owned by a co-operative. Members of the public invested between a minimum of 250 and maximum of 20,000 shares at £1 each. Nearly 50% of shares required were sold within four days of the share offer launch, with 75% of all shares being sold within a 15 mile radius of Dingwall.
The co-operative is expected to generate an average 7.5% return on investment for members over the twenty-year lifespan of the turbine. The development has also received advance assurance from HMRC that the first 150,000 shares can benefit from Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief: 50% of the value of shares for SEIS and 30% for EIS can be claimed back against income tax.
In addition, a minimum of £2,000 (€2,500) per year (expected around £8000 (€10,000)) of revenue generated will be paid into a community fund. The money will be distributed through a community trust offering grant schemes to local organisations.
Prior to the share offer launch, the Locketts obtained planning permission and a binding offer for connection to the national grid. This was financed by the Lockett family who set up a company called Knockbain Renewables for the early stages of the development. The co- operative reimbursed these early costs when it formally took over the project.
- High up-front costs
- Risk of share offer being unsuccessful
- Acceptance of a new model
- Local reduction of reliance on fossil fuels
- Renewable electricity generation of equivalent to 120 homes
- Annual displacement of 240 tonnes of CO2e
- Income through the sale of electricity and Feed-in Tariff scheme
- Income to local community fund
- Potential to extend co-operatives to other installations in the future
Size of Community
Type of Energy Project
Stage of Development
We were initially intending to take out a loan to build the turbine. When we heard about the co-operative route it seemed like an obvious way to go as benefits are shared with the local community.
David Lockett - Dingwall Wind Co-op
Planning permission obtained; idea to use co-operative model
Introduction to Sharenergy
Incorporation of Dingwall Wind Co-operative Limited
Share offer launch
Share offer deadline
Grid connection & official hand over from contractors
First payments to co-op members