Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Cooperative Wind Farm Ownership Beats NIMBYism

cooperative ownership wind farms

Cooperatively owned Middelgrunden (or Middle Ground) wind farm off the coast of Copenhagen in Denmark.

I just read an interesting story on Chinese news site Xinhuanet, of all places, on wind power in Denmark and how a cooperative ownership model has allowed the Danes to leap over the NIMBY hurdle that stops or stalls so many wind power projecs (and energy projects, in general).

“The Danish cooperative model involves private persons in the ownership of wind turbines, because you want the project to be accepted, and also to avoid the NIMBY or, ‘Not In My Back Yard’ effect,” said Hans Christian Soerensen, board member of the Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative.

Very logical. Want someone to not complain about a major, noticeable change in the area? Bring them into the project!

–>You might also like: Cooperative South Dakota Wind Farm Nets 600 Local Owners

In the story, they look at a specific case study to better show how the process works. They summarize the development of the Middelgrunden, or Middle Ground wind park, which includes 20 wind turbines off Copenhagen’s east coast that can power 40,000 Copenhagen households, on average.

“The idea for the park was raised as far back as 1993, and consultation with local people and non-governmental organizations about where and how to place the wind-turbines started soon after,” Yamei Wang of Xinhuanet wrote.

Eventually shares of the project were opened up to residents, and the project was completed in 2000. “As a shareholder, you buy a share for 4,250 Danish kroner (around 571 euros) and in the beginning you get about 600 kroner (80.6 euros) back in revenue every year, which means about 14 to 15 percent return,” said Soerensen.

“But today, after more than 10 years, we have all the money back and you get about seven percent every year on invested capital. People are quite satisfied with this because it is much better than having it in a bank, and at the same time, you are doing something positive for the environment.”

Yes, that is a serious win-win.

The 48-million-euro ($65-million) wind farm now has 8,856 shareholders, and those shareholders are free to sell their shares to others. DONG, the biggest energy and utilities company in Denmark, owns 10 of the turbines, built the wind park, and operates it.

Cooperative ownership is apparently something that comes natural to the Danes (wish it did to Americans.. but maybe it is beginning to). Other than wind farms, which have used cooperative ownership since the 1970s, banks, dairies, and abattoirs have had long success using cooperative ownership models.

Denmark is a world leader in wind power, and it wants to use wind power to provide its citizens with 50% of their electricity by 2020. Cooperative ownership sure makes getting those wind turbines installed, and giving back to the people — or democratizing the electricity grid — is certainly a nice this to do.

Middelgrunden Wind Farm Photo via Stig Nygaard

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


The Volkswagen ID.3 seems like it just hit the market, but the attention has already shifted to the Volkswagen ID.4, and that’s because the...

Clean Power

System Operator CEOs and Energy Leaders from Around the World Discussed Paths to Net-Zero Emissions During Launch Event for Global Power System Transformation Consortium


While the Tesla Model 3 comfortably wins the electric vehicle sales competition in many European countries in the first quarter of 2021, it was...


Sales numbers are in for electric vehicles in Sweden, Spain, Denmark, and Ireland for the month of March, and thus for the first quarter...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.