Ripple joins NextGen consortium to develop the world’s first community offshore wind consumer ownership opportunity
Issued 28th September 2021, Fife, Scotland
Partnership agreement paves the way for the world’s first offshore wind farms to be part-owned by the electricity consumers they supply
Tens of thousands of households across the UK could become micro-owners of the offshore wind farms, leading to savings on their electricity bills
Innovative community ownership model set to be achieved in offshore wind for the first time, paving way for fairer and more affordable access to green energy ownership
Award-winning renewable energy platform Ripple has joined the NextGen consortium which is pursuing seabed development rights within the Crown Estate Scotland ScotWind leasing round. The partnership will help bring community ownership to the offshore wind sector for the first time in the UK.
The partnership aims to make a meaningful proportion of future Scottish offshore wind projects available via Ripple’s unique consumer ownership platform. Individuals will be able to purchase micro-shares of offshore wind projects as they near final investment decision. Once operational, the green electricity from the offshore wind farm will be supplied to their homes, via the national grid.
By joining forces with Ripple, NextGen will raise the bar on the relationship between offshore wind projects and the communities they serve. The Ripple ownership model will also deliver a programme of local initiatives in neighbouring communities with high incidence of fuel poverty, cementing the role of renewable energy in building net zero future energy systems.
Ripple is an official project partner for NextGen’s ScotWind applications. The companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the community ownership model and net zero community benefit programme for any projects awarded to the consortium through the ScotWind leasing process.
Ripple and the wider NextGen consortium see community ownership models as critical in ensuring new large-scale renewable investments make a real positive impact both in the local communities where they are situated and across the UK to tackle the climate crisis. NextGen believes there is really exciting potential to develop the Ripple platform even further, as a basis to encourage local clean energy initiatives, including heat pump retrofits, electric vehicle charging and other distributed storage and flexibility technologies.
David Woodhead, Innovation Manager for NextGen:
“The offshore wind sector in the UK has been slow on the uptake with community energy, but we believe that the benefits of opening up ownership of offshore wind projects to the public are huge. We have ambitious plans to break the mould with our ScotWind projects. We are really excited about this partnership and see great potential in Ripple’s innovative platform, both to enable meaningful consumer ownership of an offshore wind project for the first time, and as a vehicle to support wider local benefits in the Scottish communities neighbouring our wind farm projects. We look forward to working with them as a project delivery partner to develop a model which works for the offshore wind sector”.
Sarah Merrick, Founder and CEO of Ripple Energy:
“Partnering with NextGen represents a step change in the development of Ripple’s green energy ownership platform. It shows that, with the right approach, genuine community ownership is possible, even for very large offshore wind farms. This enables many more people to join the renewable energy revolution and support the transition to clean power. We look forward to working with them upon the successful award of a project lease in the ScotWind process.”
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About Ripple Energy
Ripple is a clean energy ownership platform. It enables people to part own large scale wind farms and have the low cost, green electricity generated supplied to their home or business via the grid, by its utility partners.
Ripple launched its first wind farm for ownership in summer 2020. Over 800 people collectively own the Graig Fatha wind farm in South Wales. Construction of the wind farm started in July 2021. The wind farm is due to be operational by Christmas when its green, low cost electricity will be supplied to its owners by Ripple’s supply partner, Co-op Energy, powered by Octopus Energy.
Ripple was founded by Sarah Merrick in 2017. It won Startup of the Year 2021 at the Wind Investment Awards. Ripple’s first wind farm co-operative won Inspirational Coop of the Year 2021.
About the NextGen Consortium
NextGen is a group of leading offshore wind companies and funds jointly participating in Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind leasing process. The NextGen consortium, led by Quaybridge Scotland, Parkwind and Maple Power is backed by a number of strategic partners including BlackRock Real Assets and Sumitomo Corporation.
The NextGen consortium’s innovative approach to offshore wind development in Scotland will ensure the creation of high value local jobs and opportunities for meaningful community involvement. From their base in Quaybridge’s Fife office, NextGen has worked closely with stakeholders across Scotland to complete early development work, pilot innovative supply chain interventions and build community level relationships since 2018.