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UK’s first shared solar park now open for investment

The Ripple Energy-operated site offers households part-ownership opportunities, in turn reducing energy bills and advancing British renewable power. 

white and blue solar panel system

The Derril Water Solar Park, just under one mile from the village of Pyworthy, is being developed alongside renewables firm RES, and reflects a growing trend for community-owned energy infrastructure. The public can already claim a share in the project, with 10% of overall ownership ringfenced for those living in the immediate area for the first two weeks of the sale. 

The remaining 90% stake is also now open to investors, with anyone in the UK eligible. Those who do buy into the scheme can expect their energy bills to fall significantly. In Scotland, where Ripple manages a consumer owned windfarm, those with a share have seen savings of £783 per year compared with average domestic costs. In terms of capacity, 14,000 homes can be powered through the new solar park, saving around 19,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and contributing approximately £162,000 to the borough annually through business rates. 

A Community Benefit Fund has been confirmed for the new Ripple Energy and RES Derril Water scheme, with the aim of providing £1,000/MW annually. This equates to around £42,000 being made available to good causes in the area each year. RES has also confirmed £15,000 will be given to the warm hub project at Pyworthy village hall. 

Biodiversity is another key priority for the project, with Derril Water set to deliver net gain in this area. Existing arable grasslands – primarily used for cattle grazing and considered to be of low ecological value – will be transformed into new habitats. This will involve the planting of species-rich grassland, native trees, and hedgerows. Bird and bat boxes, hedgehog houses, dormhouse boxes, bee banks and invertebrate hotels will also feature. As a result, habitat units are expected to increase by 90%. 

‘By offering consumer ownership, Derril Water Solar Park will become a completely different kind of solar park, one owned by the people it supplies low cost green power to. We want Derril Water to become a blueprint for consumer-owned 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. People from all corners of Britain will be able to co-own Derril Water Solar Park, and we hope as many as possible will become part of this pioneering project,’ said Sarah Merrick, Founder and CEO of Ripple Energy. 

Image: Mariana Proença

More on UK renewables and community impact:

Local windfarm provides £300,000 energy fund for vulnerable residents

 

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