Now the Sapphire Wind Farm – the largest wind farm in New South Wales – has been constructed and commissioned, developers CWP Renewables are launching the Sapphire Community Investment Fund.
This community co-investment initiative lets members of the community invest alongside institutional investors in a renewable energy project developed, financed, and managed by a third party.
A series of “Open House” events will be held in Glen Innes, Armidale, Wellingrove, and Inverell from December 5 to 8, to allow local residents to learn more about co-investment, meet the organisers, and apply in person.
CWP Renewables are the first company in Australia to offer community co-investment into a large scale wind farm.
It is a first-come, first-served opportunity only open to residents in the Federal Division of New England.
Priority is given to wind farm neighbours and residents of the Inverell and Glen Innes Shires.
Andrew Dickson, from CWP Renewables, said: “With over $7.3m of pledges received so far from the local community, we are pleased to now be delivering on our promise to the community, to open up the project for co-investment.”
CWP Renewables and the investment fund manager Partners Group co-own the project through a joint entity Grassroots Renewable Energy.
CWP Renewables is also overseeing the project through construction and long-term operations.
Construction of the Sapphire Wind Farm began in January 2017, and the final turbine was installed in October.
Testing and commissioning is expected to be complete in coming months.
CWP Renewables tested the local community’s interest in co-investment in late 2017, and was pleasantly surprised at the level of interest.
CWP Renewables and Partners Group have selected DomaCom (www.domacom.com.au) as their partner in community co-investment.
DomaCom has developed a “fractional investment” platform which allows multiple investors to aggregate their investments into an asset, typically a real estate asset but now also renewable energy projects such as the Sapphire Wind Farm.
Mr Dickson said: “DomaCom is a great fit for the community co-investment initiative. Their online platform makes it very easy for people to establish and manage their investment.”
Ben Haan, from Partners Group, said: “Community investment is integral to our Grassroots Renewable Energy business. What we are pioneering at Sapphire will be applied to future Grassroots projects, allowing our communities to share the benefits and to invest in Australia’s renewable energy future.”
DomaCom has been a pioneer in fractional investment in Australia, and is now in its fifth year of operation.
Ross Laidlaw, from DomaCom, said: “We are very excited to partner with CWP Renewables and Partners Group in the Community Co-Investment Sapphire Wind Farm.”
The Sapphire Wind Farm Community Fund, he said, clearly demonstrated DomaCom’s vision: breaking down large institutional assets into fractional components so retail investors could buy previously unavailable assets.
Interested community members are invited to attend the Open House events in Glen Innes, Armidale, Wellingrove, and Inverell in December to find out more and start the process to make a formal investment.
Wednesday, December 5: Glen Innes Services Club. Drop in anytime from 1 to 7pm, information session from 5.30 to 6.30pm.
Thursday, December 6: Armidale City Bowling Club. Drop in anytime from 1 to 7pm, information session from 5.30 to 6.30pm.
Friday, December 7: Wellingrove Hall. Drop in anytime from 3 to 7pm, information session from 5.30 to 6.30pm.
Saturday, December 8: Inverell RSM. Drop in anytime from 10.30am to 4.30pm, information session from 11am to 12pm.
To book places at the Open House events, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sapphire-community-investment-roadshow-tickets-51386223578, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further enquiries about the Sapphire Wind Farm Community Co-Investment initiative, email: email@example.com, or call Taryn Lane on 0458 048 287.