In 1974, Antur Aelhaearn was the ﬁrst community co-operative registered in the UK - the result of local people coming together to stem the tide of people leaving the village through economic regeneration projects.
Now. 40 years on, the group are working on the Gwynt Aelhaearn project to bring funds into the village to continue supporting this objective. The plan is to install a 55kW turbine on private land and they have exclusivity agreements with three local landowners for this purpose. The area has a fantastic wind resource and the turbine could generate an income of well over £200,000 per year from the UK Governmentʼs Feed In Tariff scheme.
A full feasibility has been undertaken with the help of Ynniʼr Fro (the Welsh Governmentʼs community energy support scheme) and now the Antur are working on getting the project ready to submit a planning application and reviewing funding possibilities. Options being considered are loan ﬁnance or a community share offer.
The Antur have employed a project manager who is driving the research and development needed to get the project to the planning permission stage. This includes commissioning studies to estimate the local effects of the project on language, the economy, archeology, sound and visual impacts, as well as civil engineering requirements. The project manager is also assisting the group through a community consultation process. The project is well supported in the area in recognition of the funds it will bring in for the Antur, which has a strong track record of supporting the village.
The Antur envisage that proﬁt will be split between:
1. Schemes to help reduce energy bills for local people - various ideas are being discussed, one of which is an annual payment to each household in the village.
2. Income for the Antur - this will be spent on existing projects (e.g. the creche and skills courses) and new projects (e.g. energy efﬁciency work on local homes to help reduce fuel poverty).
3. Interest payments for shareholders (if the scheme is funded through a share offer).
Antur Aelhaearn are hoping to submit the planning application by late March 2014 and are receiving support from Ynniʼr Fro, Gwynedd Werdd, Renew Wales and Sharenergy.