NEF’s Communities Fund makes first investment

Climate change charity the National Energy Foundation has made its first investment to support the development of a community-owned renewable energy programme. The Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC) has just […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Climate change charity the National Energy Foundation has made its first investment to support the development of a community-owned renewable energy programme.

The Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC) has just launched its first community share issue, a campaign financed by the NEF’s Communities Fund.

The proceeds of the share issue will be used to invest in local renewable energy projects. TRESOC has been set up to enable the community to own and profit from the development of local renewable energy projects. All residents of Totnes, in Devon, can become members of the society by buying shares with a minimum value of £20 up to £20,000.

TRESOC has also secured a deal to develop the Totnes Community Wind Farm as part of a growing portfolio of renewable energy projects in wind, biomass, hydro and solar power.

The wind farm is a partnership project with UK wind farm technology firm Infinergy to build two turbines near Luscombe Cross, which will generate enough electricity to supply up to 2,500 Totnes homes.

The NEF is a charitable organisation established in 1990 to promote the better use of energy to counter climate change. Its Communities Fund was set up last year to provide financial backing to community organisations planning large-scale sustainable energy projects.

Ian Bright, TRESOC managing director, said, “We are delighted to receive the financial backing and support from the National Energy Foundation and its Communities Fund. Their funding has made a real difference at the right time to enable us to reach out to the whole community to raise the funds to get major projects up and running.”

The proceeds of the share issue will be invested in the Totnes Community Wind Farm, commercially viable projects including the Totnes Anaerobic Digester, and in operating TRESOC.