Coriolis Energy and ESB confirm agreements for multi-million pound Local Ownership Scheme and Community Benefit Fund for Y Bryn Wind Farm proposals.
Following COP27, and in time for Wales Climate Week 2022, Coriolis Energy and ESB have announced Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Awel Aman Tawe (AAT), Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) and Neath Port Talbot Council for Voluntary Service (NPTCVS) to help deliver millions of pounds worth of contributions to the communities surrounding the proposed Y Bryn onshore wind farm, near Port Talbot in South Wales.
The arrangements mark the first step towards delivery of a key Welsh Government target to deliver deep, long-term benefits within host communities.
The MoU’s confirm arrangements to bring forward multi-million pound benefit to the region through a Community Benefit Fund which can be spent on local projects in the area around the wind farm. Arrangements have also been confirmed on setting up a new community benefit society called ‘Awel y Bryn Co-op’ which will enable the Community Ownership Scheme and Community Benefit Fund and will be managed by AAT, BAVO and NPTCVS.
Through Awel y Bryn Co-op, up to a fifth of the Project will be available for community and public sector ownership, which will contribute greatly to Welsh Government targets of having at least 1GW of renewable energy in community ownership by 2030. Given the nature of the project, the Y Bryn ownership model would be one of the largest part-owned community projects in the UK.
Equally ambitious in scale, the industry leading Community Benefit Fund, could total upwards of £1million per year for the lifetime of the Project – one of the largest community benefit pots in the UK from an onshore wind project of this nature.
Trevor Hunter, Y Bryn Project Manager said:
“The Y Bryn project will play an important role in delivering against Welsh Government Net Zero targets, and will make a significant contribution to energy security, helping to bring down energy costs for UK consumers.”
“Therefore, we are really pleased to be able to announce the signing of these Memorandums of Understanding with our community partners during Wales Climate Week.
“From the outset, we’ve been looking at how best to incorporate Community Shared Ownership investment in the Y Bryn Wind Farm Project and management of the Community Benefit Fund, and I’m excited that the project has partnered with AAT, BAVO and NPTCVS to help deliver this.”
“The unique agreements will ensure that both opportunities are managed appropriately and by partners who understand the needs of the local community. AAT, BAVO and NPTCVS all have significant past experience in managing similar funds, and are well known and respected locally.”
“We are keen to understand further thoughts on the various opportunities for community ownership or in identifying areas in which the Project can deliver local community benefit.”
Dan McCallum, Chief Executive, Awel Aman Tawe said:
“We have a rapid and urgent need to deploy renewable energy projects across Wales to help us meet our carbon reduction obligations. Whilst most people understand and support the principle for new renewable projects in Wales, we understand that many also want to know how these large investments can provide direct benefit to the communities within which they are built.”
“That is why we’re extremely excited to be working with Coriolis and ESB, as well as BAVO and NPTCVS, to bring forward this industry leading local ownership opportunity and community benefit fund with Y Bryn Wind Farm.”
“This will allow local individuals to invest directly in the project, and see the direct benefit of the project through significant benefit contributions straight away. This co-op model will engage a lot more people in our shared struggle to tackle climate change, and also retains greater value within Wales and our communities”
“Now that we have an agreement in place, we can really begin to explore these opportunities in detail with local residents, community groups and public bodies.”
For more details on the Project please visit www.ybryn-windfarm.cymru, where you can also register for regular updates as the Project progresses.