Ripple is a UK startup that’s reinvented co-operative energy ownership for the digital age. It is a clean energy ownership platform that enables individuals to part own large scale wind farms and have the low cost green power supplied to their home via the grid. I set up Ripple because I was frustrated that large organisations could directly own wind farms and benefit from the cheaper power they produce, but individuals couldn’t. Ripple’s aim is to make renewable energy ownership accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Ripple enables individuals to own their own source of clean power. By bringing together 1000s of individuals in a co-operative, the members can collectively own large scale, low cost renewable assets.

Community energy has traditionally been localised, focused on the regions surrounding the wind farms or solar parks. Ripple wants to enable everyone, regardless of where they live, to own their own source of clean power. Members can live in a flat in the centre of Birmingham and still own part of a wind farm. It may be on a hill in Scotland 100s of miles away, but they can still own it and benefit from the cheaper power it produces.

Ripple projects are owned by co-operatives, which Ripple manages. Co-operative energy projects are often led by volunteers. But getting large scale wind farms and solar parks funded, constructed and operating optimally can be extremely complex. With decades of experience in the wind industry, Ripple provides expert management and coordination of the projects and coops.

This makes ownership open to everyone, whether they understand the intricacies of the electricity market or how to negotiate contracts, or not.

Scale really matters in energy. Large scale projects are significantly cheaper than the smaller scale projects often pursued by local coops. By enabling people to collectively access much larger scale projects, Ripple coop members benefit from even cheaper electricity.

Ripple’s pilot wind farm was a single turbine. The aim was to prove the concept on a manageable scale.

The second wind farm, Kirk Hill in Scotland, has 8 turbines. It is currently under construction in Scotland and is due to start generating in late 2023. It is owned by 5600 people and 19 companies. Ripple aims to launch significantly larger projects, including shares in offshore wind farms in future.

Each co-op has a community benefit fund which allocates funds to support causes in the region close to the project. Ensuring the local community near Ripple projects also benefits. It is also possible to give people living locally early access to the coop or even potentially discounted shares.

Ripple’s first wind farm, Graig Fatha in south Wales, started generating earlier this year. Its 900 owners are due to save around £275 off their electricity bills this year, and around £800 next year. Members will receive bill savings, every month, for 25 years.

Part of Graig Fatha, is supported by a grant from the Welsh Government. The savings from this portion of the wind farm don’t reduce the Welsh Government’s electricity bill but instead go to the community benefit fund. In the first year of operation, this will generate around £165,000 for the fund and is forecast to provide £450,000 of funding next year. Ripple’s model has proven that higher prices can also drive higher levels of support for those in fuel poverty when it’s needed the most.

Members buy part of a wind farm, via a co-op, alongside thousands of others. Ripple manages the build of the project, members own it. Once the project starts generating the power is supplied to the owners via the grid. Ripple has partnered with energy suppliers to deliver the power to members’ homes and apply the savings to their bills direct. Suppliers buy the power from the wind farm at its low and steady running cost, rather than the high market price. This saving is passed onto members every month.

Members get low and stable electricity bills every month for the entire 25 year life span of the project.

Ripple enables members to bypass the electricity market and directly access the cheaper power which renewables produce. This helps keep members’ bills low. Right now electricity prices are very high, but Ripple members are protected from these increases thanks to the higher savings from their wind farm. Ripple offers real security to their members.

Ripple is reimaging cooperative energy ownership. Its unique approach brings coops into the digital age. The owners form an online community, strengthened by Ripple’s members’ online forum. The huge increase in membership shows a fresh approach that delivers genuine ownership, and savings on members’ bills, really resonates.

Reservations are now open for Ripple’s third project and over 13,000 people have already reserved their place.You can reserve your place now for £25 to get exclusive early access to buy your shares when the next project opens next year.