Banking and financial services firm Virgin Money has backed a Scottish wind farm project being developed by Ripple Energy.
Virgin Money said it has completed a new £14m (€16.3m) deal to support the development of the 18.8MW Kirk Hill Wind Farm in Ayrshire, which will be part-owned by a co-operative comprising individuals and small businesses.
The wind farm near Girvan will be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 20,000 homes when commissioned in the first quarter of 2024.
The new Ayrshire wind farm will be partly owned by more than 5,600 households both locally and throughout Great Britain, together with 19 small businesses and commercial property investor and developer Bruntwood, after it purchased a 42.2% share in the co-operative-owned site.
Instead of receiving dividends as a return on their investment, these green stakeholders will benefit from stable power for a greener future.
Virgin Money, which already supports all established renewable technologies across the UK, said the deal is in line with the bank’s plan to at least halve carbon emissions across everything they finance by 2030. The latest financial package takes Virgin Money’s total investment in energy and environment financing close to £250m.
Adam Heslop, Virgin Money’s senior director in charge of renewable energy, said: “We are accelerating our drive to fast-track more renewable projects to contribute to the carbon reduction journey as quickly as possible.
“It’s particularly pleasing to facilitate this project alongside Ripple Energy’s team who have an excellent track record of developing renewable energy projects successfully and effectively.”
Sarah Merrick, founder and CEO of Ripple, said the support is helping to drive a shift towards consumer ownership in the energy market.
Merrick added: “We want these pioneering projects to become a blueprint for consumer-owned wind farms and solar parks around the world. We want to create a wave of green energy ownership that enables people to make a real climate impact, as well as stabilising their energy bills.”
Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, said: “We’re committed to a sustainable and fair future, and we were proud to be the very first commercial property business in the UK to invest in a co-operative owned Wind Farm.
“It’s fantastic to see Virgin Money back the development at Kirk Hill wind farm, which is a landmark project for green energy in the UK.”
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