UK’s largest people-owned wind farm set for the Scottish Borders

A 14-turbine wind farm being built in the Scottish Borders is set to be owned by members of the public, in what will be Britain’s biggest people-owned renewable energy project.

The site at Whitelaw Brae near Tweedsmuir has been secured by Ripple Energy in an agreement with developers BayWa r.e.

It means thousands of people across the country will be able to co-own the wind farm via a co-operative, powering their homes with up to 100% green energy, reducing their electricity bills and cutting their carbon footprint.

Ripple manages the co-operative and works with multiple energy suppliers to apply savings generated by the wind farm directly to member’s electricity bills.

Chief executive Sarah Merrick said: “It used to be that installing solar panels on your roof was the only way to own a source of clean energy and reap the financial benefits.

“Wind energy is the cheapest source of electricity in the UK, but the energy market makes it harder for ordinary people and businesses to access it.

“Ripple’s mission is to change that, making renewable energy ownership affordable and accessible to everyone, everywhere.

“Whitelaw Brae is a significant milestone in this journey, representing a true partnership between people and the environment - by owning just a credit card size slice of a turbine, most people can power their homes with 100% green energy.”

The site has been developed by BayWa r.e, which has delivered 144 wind projects worldwide, installing approximately 2.5GW of wind energy. The turbines will be manufactured by Vestas.

The site will have the potential to power more than 50,000 homes and generate around 145GWh per year.

John Milligan, managing director at BayWa r.e. UK, said: “We are delighted to work with Ripple in delivering green, renewable energy to UK households with the Whitelaw Brae project.

“Developing onshore wind farms is essential to meeting the UK’s net zero emission targets, and it is encouraging to see the public excitement about projects such as Whitelaw Brae.”

The wind farm will begin generating in late 2026 and is Ripple’s fourth project since the company launched seven years ago.

Landscaping work on site will include planting around 56 hectares of native woodland, scrubland and marshland, providing nesting habitat for wader species, and promoting biodiversity with the growth of heather and mosses.

Ripple is currently accepting registrations to a priority access list from anyone interested in owning part of the wind farm.

Around 900 members have already saved over £1.2m on their bills in two years after the switch-on of their turbine at Graig Fatha, near Coedely in Wales, during 2022.

An eight-turbine wind farm at Kirk Hill near Girvan is also due to complete this month, while work continues on Ripple’s first solar park at Derril Water near Devon, where members share the power as well as the ownership.

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