Power for the people

Ambition Community Energy to build England’s tallest wind turbine

We’re providing £4 million in funding for a new 150-metre community owned wind turbine near Lawrence Weston, Bristol.

We are absolutely delighted to announce that we will be working with Ambition Community Energy CIC to get the biggest wind turbine in the country built right here in Bristol. It is 100% community owned.

Thrive has provided a £4 million loan to get this brilliant initiative into construction, with groundwork likely to start in June and the commissioning of the turbine expected in Spring 2023.

With a maximum capacity of 4.2 MW, the 115m diameter, 150m tip height turbine will be capable of generating enough power for close to 3,000 homes – the equivalent to Lawrence Weston’s domestic use – and will save almost 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over its lifetime. 

Providing a new revenue stream for the local community in Lawrence Weston, all profits from electricity sales will be reinvested back into the area, acting as a driver for regeneration. The group also plan to build an Energy Learning Zone to inspire young people and provide training to upskill residents for zero carbon careers

It’s extremely impressive to see the determination and resilience Ambition Community Energy has shown in getting the project to this stage. Thrive’s unique collaborative funding model will enable them to get the turbine built and operational after years of planning work. Locally owned projects such as these will play a fundamental role in the future energy system, providing clean electricity that will help to reduce bills and generate revenue that can be plugged back into the community. It’s also great to see such significant grassroots support for onshore wind and local people taking control of energy resources.”

– Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables

Set up as a community interest company, Ambition Community Energy was born out of Ambition Lawrence Weston – a Bristol-based charity established in 2012 by a group of residents who wanted to make the area a better place to live, after a decline in local services.

The money generated from the wind turbine will go a long way to address the historic fuel and general poverty that Lawrence Weston continues to suffer. It will help fund and run our planned new community building. This centre will deliver the community and climate development action plans, written by the residents, and a renewable energy and construction skills academy. These actions will ensure we are well placed to benefit from any ‘just energy transition’ that may happen.”

– Mark Pepper, Development Manager at Ambition Lawrence Weston, and Chair of Ambition Community Energy CIC 

There are homes in Lawrence Weston which suffer from poor insulation and low-energy efficiency and, with energy costs continuing to soar, this means even more of our residents will face of fuel poverty. It’s important for us that everyone is included in the clean energy transition, which is why we’ve never given up on getting this project built. Thanks to Thrive, we’re now pushing forward with construction and hope that the turbine acts as a shining example for other communities across the UK.”

– David Tudgey, Project Development Manager, Ambition Community Energy CIC