Ambition Community Energy to build England’s tallest onshore wind turbine with funding from Thrive Renewables


Written by Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables

We believe in a clean, smart energy system, powered by the investment of many, which is why we get so inspired by community groups building their own renewable energy projects. For example, we recently teamed up with Ambition Community Energy to get the tallest wind turbine in the country built in our hometown of Bristol. And the best bit of all? It’s 100% community owned. 

We provided a £4 million funding bridge to get this brilliant community initiative into construction, with groundwork starting imminently and the commissioning of the turbine expected in Spring 2023. With a capacity of 4.2 MW, the 115-metre diameter, 150-metre 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. 

It will also provide a new revenue stream for the local community in Lawrence Weston, with all profits from electricity sales being reinvested back into the area, acting as a driver for regeneration. And the benefits don’t stop there. The group plan to build an Energy Learning Zone to inspire young people and provide training to upskill residents for the zero carbon jobs of the future.

David Tudgey, Project Development Manager at Ambition Community Energy CIC, said: “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.” 

Find out if we can fund your local renewable project

As well as being the main sponsor of this year’s Community Energy Fortnight, we will be hosting a webinar for community energy groups looking to scale up local renewable energy projects, including insight on how to obtain the right funding. You can register to attend the event here.

Here’s a snapshot of how could help you:

  • We act quickly and efficiently to help communities get the most out of their purchase.
  • We offer flexible finance for a range of project types: hydro, solar, wind and storage.
  • We can provide access to a wide network of industry contacts, partners, suppliers, and industry bodies. 
  • We structure our finance to respond to the needs of the community and the specifics of each project.