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Share scheme for turbines goes on show

Details of a scheme which allows members of the public to buy shares in a local wind farm went on display this week.

Energy company ClearWinds and not-for-profit social enterprise Energy4All hope to build two 77-metre wind turbines at Knightacott near Bratton Fleming.

The turbines would be owned and operated by a new Devon Community Wind Co-operative which will invite the public to buy shares in the project.

Earlier this week the companies involved held exhibitions in Bratton Fleming Village Hall and Boston Tea Party in Barnstaple to gauge public reaction to the project.

John Malone, development director for Energy4All, said: “We had about 40 people through the door at Bratton Fleming, most of whom had concerns about the visual impact and potential for noise.

“But we also had interest from potential shareholders – there was a good mix of views and some lively debate.

“The purpose of the displays is to collect people’s comments and try to address their concerns.”

John said the shareholders, who will be able to purchase shares between £250 and £20,000, could expect an annual return of between 8 and 10 per cent.

He said: “The cynics might say this is a ploy to get people on board with an unpopular energy form but I genuinely believe a co-operative is the most democratic and ethical way of doing business.

“I see this as an opportunity for North Devon to provide green, renewable energy while enjoying the benefits of a tangible business project.”

ClearWinds plan to submit a planning application for the turbines within the next six months.

For more information visit www.energy4all.co.uk.