Renewable energy disruptor Ripple launches first wind farm for consumer ownership
Advised by Burges Salmon’s leading Energy, Power & Utilities practice, Ripple Energy introduces its innovative co-ownership model to the market.
With the launch of the UK’s first consumer-owned onshore wind farm project in June, Ripple Energy is another mould-breaking business in Burges Salmon’s portfolio of work at the forefront of the renewable energy market. Founded in 2017 by Sarah Merrick, Ripple is a new form of energy company, which is working to give individual households the power to combat climate change and to make living a low-carbon lifestyle easy through clean energy ownership.
Ross Fairley, head of Renewable Energy at Burges Salmon, says: “We have an established reputation for helping innovators and disruptors in the renewable energy sector, and we were delighted when Sarah – who we’ve known for several years through our work in onshore wind – came to us to help make Ripple a reality.”
With a unique proposition, Ripple develops and manages the construction of new onshore renewable energy projects whose ownership is then sold to consumers who take up membership in a managed co-operative. Consumers then receive their electricity directly from the projects through supply partner Co-op Energy, powered by Octopus Energy.
Ripple’s trail-blazing vision has been launched with the offer to invest in the Graig Fatha wind farm, in South Wales. Shares in the co-operative that owns the pilot project, which is expected to become fully operational in 2021, will be bought by approximately 2,000 consumers whose electricity will be generated by the wind farm.
Burges Salmon advised on the legal aspects of Ripple’s ground-breaking model, including forming the co-operative which consumers will invest in and negotiating and drafting its consumer contracts. The team was led by Ross Fairley and Camilla Usher-Clark, who leads the firm’s corporate energy team, with support from senior associate Emma Andrews and solicitor Briony Barber.
Sarah Merrick, Ripple founder and CEO, says: “The support we’ve had from the Burges Salmon team has been absolutely invaluable. They saw the potential in Ripple when we were not much more than an idea on the back of an envelope. We really couldn’t have done it without their flexibility, creativity and experience.”
Ross concludes: “We’ve been working with Sarah and the Ripple team for some time to get to this stage, and the whole team was really proud to see the launch take place. It’s a fantastic concept that promotes green energy and helps the UK on its way towards achieving the 2050 Net Zero target.”