Hepburn Wind started from humble beginnings with a simple, but powerful idea — that our community could own and operate its own wind farm for the benefit of the entire community.
We are eternally grateful for the efforts the Hepburn Renewable Energy Association (now known as SHARE) who, with the help of many, established Hepburn Wind four years ago today.
On 18 July 2007, 23 members came together and voted to form the co-operative and vote in our first board. In just four years we have grown to almost 1900 members and are proud of our role in establishing the community renewable energy movement in Australia.
We wish to acknowledge all those who have believed in and supported the project over the long journey to get us to this point.
Together we have:
- built a $13.5m wind farm, the first in the country to be initiated and owned by a community
- almost completed commissioning and already begun generating clean, safe energy for our community
- raised more than $9.6m from the community, been awarded $1.7m in state government grants and secured a $3.1 financing facility with Bendigo Bank
- joined up almost 1900 members, mostly locals
- entered into an innovative power off-take agreement with Red Energy that will enable supporters to purchase our locally generated power, while at the same time delivering significant financial benefits to our community
- applied the co-operative legal structure where members have equal voting rights (ensuring democratic control) but share returns in proportion to their investment
- developed the most generous benefit sharing program of any wind farm in the country, which will give special benefits to those living closest to the project as well as returning well in excess of $1m to the Hepburn Wind Community Fund over the next 25 years.
- set a new standard set for community engagement and support for a wind farm — recognised with our recent honour of winning the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award for 2011.