Awel Co-op wind farm in the Amman Valley will be gifting over £30,000 worth of shares to local community groups this Christmas.
One of the first beneficiaries is Tairgwaith Primary School which received £500 worth of shares and a certificate of ownership during a recent visit by Year 5 and 6 pupils.
The school visit features in a short film, available to view here:
The wind farm, located about 20 miles north of Swansea, was commissioned in January having secured £5.25m from Triodos, Europe’s leading sustainable bank; one of the largest investments ever seen in the Amman Valley.
As well as providing enough clean energy to power 2,500 homes each year, the two 2.35MWh wind turbines generate revenue which is then reinvested in the local community.
In addition to Tairgwaith’s donation, the community co-op which owns the wind farm has gifted £500 worth of shares each to Tiddlywinks Nursery in Ystalyfera, Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers and Canolfan Maerdy, a local regeneration charity. A further £30,000 worth of shares has been earmarked for local community groups.
Tiddlywinks visiting their turbines
Founding director Dan McCallum, who was recently presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Renew Wales in recognition of his pioneering work tackling climate change, explains: “Awel Co-op wind farm is a community energy project and we want our turbines to be owned by as many local people and groups as possible. We were delighted to be in a position to donate shares to Tairgwaith Primary School who will enjoy a projected 5% return per year for 20 years on their £500 investment.
“The wind farm is already a fantastic educational resource, teaching the next generation about the importance of sustainability, but we wanted to go one step further. Now Tairgwaith pupils will be able to visit the site whenever they want to and say, ‘we own those windmills!’.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the financial backing of Triodos Bank, who have been with us every step of the way and continue to support us as we reach another milestone, the end of our first full year of operation.
“Our share offer is still open to the public until we reach our target of £3 million. To date, we’ve raised £2.5 million. Visit www.awel.coop if you’d like to join us!”
Steve Moore, Relationship Manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “At Triodos Bank, we invest in people and projects that are bringing about positive environmental and social change.
“Awel Co-op epitomises sustainability – providing enough clean energy to supply thousands of homes as well as generating revenue for schools and community groups – and we are extremely proud to be a part of this very special story.”
Triodos Bank, having launched a new personal current account this year, was so inspired by the work of Awel Co-op, they took one of their customers, Kathryn Chandler, who lives in Swansea, to meet Dan and Tairgwaith pupils and see the turbines first hand.
Kathryn was delighted to discover that the money she invests is helping to generate clean energy for local homes. She explained: “I bank with Triodos because they are an ethical bank and I wanted to choose a bank that I believe in and that’s investing money in projects I believe in.
“Triodos are transparent about where they put their money and who they lend to and it’s important to me that I’m saving with a bank that’s considering the benefits for other people, as well as myself.
Other local projects financed by Triodos Bank include Baglan Community Church in Port Talbot, Glangarnant Nursing Home in Ammanford, Rhuddin Housing Co-operative in Kidwelly and Ty’r Eithin Farm in Llanelli.
To find out more about Triodos Bank and the projects they invest in, please visit triodos.co.uk/changemakers. To find our more about Awel Co-op, visit www.awel.coop
For further information please contact:
Faye Holst – 07521 898 970 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Bell – 07880 560 233 – email@example.com
About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.
With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.
About Awel Co-op
Awel is a community benefit society established in September 2015 by Awel Aman Tawe, a community energy charity.
Our turbines are situated on Mynydd y Gwrhyd, which is 20 miles north of Swansea. The turbines are forecast to generate an estimated 12,404 MWh of clean energy annually, enough to supply over 2,500 homes per year. This will generate about £3m over the next 25 years of the wind farm to fund low carbon projects in the community.
Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request