1. Introduction

Sapphire Wind Farm has begun construction and the developer CWP with Akin Consulting and Starfish Initiatives tested the level of community interest in directly investing in the project from September - November 2017.

337 participants pledged $5.4M during the survey period. Due to the overwhelming interest in the opportunity for local community members to invest money into the wind farm and participate in the financial benefits from the sale of renewable electricity, the community investment will go ahead.

Please fill out this survey to register your interest and help us best plan for the share offer which we will aim to open in late 2018. All participants in this survey will be subscribed to regular updates about the community investment process. If you have any questions please firstly read the detailed FAQs on our website.

Key Facts
  • The SWF is being built at a cost of approximately $590m.
  • One third of the output of SWF has been sold to the ACT Government under a 20 year contract – which effectively guarantees the energy price received over this period. The remaining 2/3 will be contracted in the future, subject to prices, or sold into the spot market.
  • The project has an expected operating life in excess of 25 years
  • Work started in January 2017 and will progressively be completed by 30 June 2018
  • Banks are providing approximately $330m (just under 60%) of the $590m funding required
  • The owners, of SWF, being Partners Group (+90%) and APRL are funding approximately $260m

The potential opportunity is for the community investors to make an investment in securities issued by the SWF investors, APRL and Partners Group.

This will be the first project of its type in Australia – even though community investment of this kind in large-scale wind projects is a very common model in countries throughout Europe and North America.

Sapphire Wind Farm is situated 18km west of Glen Innes and 28km east of Inverell in the New England Tablelands of NSW. The 270MW wind farm comprises 75 Vestas V126 3.6MW turbines and construction commenced in January 2017. The turbines being erected at Sapphire Wind Farm will be 200m high to the tip of the blade and occupy freehold land within and adjacent to agricultural areas. The site is located in both Inverell Shire Council and Glen Innes Severn Council Local Government Areas.

The investment model will be an unlisted public company limited by shares and would be linked to the performance of the Sapphire Wind Farm as a whole (rather than an individual turbine or turbines).

About this Survey
The purpose of this survey is to gather an interested database of community members for the investment opportunity in the Sapphire Wind Farm.

To be best prepared, we need your help to not only do the survey but also spread the word and pass it on to others. The survey will remain open until mid-2018.

Confidentiality
The information and details you provide will only be used for the Sapphire Community Co-investment Initiative. No private details will be used in any published information such as the survey findings. Your contact details will not be given to any third party.
Up Front

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* 1. What is your age?

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* 2. What is your gender?

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* 3. In what postcode is your home located?

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* 4. How long have you lived in this area?

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* 5. Do you live:

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* 6. List the first three things that come to mind for you about community co-investment in Sapphire Wind Farm.

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* 7. How important do you believe it is that we source, produce and use energy available in or close to our region?

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* 8. Would you like to see direct community investment in the transformation of our local area into a renewable energy region, instead of only by institutional and corporate investors and financiers?

Sapphire Community Investment

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* 9. For the Sapphire Community Co-investment Initiative, who do you think are appropriate investors?

  Yes No Maybe Unsure
New England residents
Business owned by local residents
Business based or with a presence in New England
Private/Family Superannuation or Trusts of New England Residents
Local Government of New England
Community investors from further afield
Sophisticated, superannuation

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* 10. Rate the importance of the following community involvement in the community investment for the Sapphire Wind Farm.

  Very Important Important Don't Mind Unimportant Very Unimportant
Community influence on decision-making within the community investment company/co-operative
Majority ownership by 'local community' in the community investment company/co-operative
Local volunteer opportunities for the management of the community investment company/co-operative 
Opportunities to participate in local events and education initiatives to do with the wind farm and/ or renewable energy
Security of investment in the form of a set rate of return

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* 11. How willing are you to invest in a community investment opportunity for Sapphire wind farm?

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* 12. Please fill out the box below with the amount you are interested in investing.  Please note the minimum shareholding for the purpose of this research is set at $5000. The proposed fixed floor rate of return is between 5% and 6% dependant on the setup and operating costs of the community investment vehicle. Given that, what amount would you be interested in investing?

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* 13. Given that the life of project is ~25 years and the investment is likely to be >10 years, what length of term for the investment would you be interested in?

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* 14. Rate your main reasons why you are considering investing. Select as few or as many as you want or need to.

  High Medium Neutral Low Very Low
Financial Return
Community Benefits
Energy Security
Climate Change
Clean Energy
Public Health/Safety
Create Jobs/Business
Community Leadership
Other

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* 15. If you were to be an investor in the Sapphire Community Co-investment, what level of communication would you like to have from the project. Please tick all that are satisfactory.

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* 16. In the Sapphire Wind Farm community co-investment there would be no ‘carve out’ of performance of individual turbines, but rather the returns would be linked to performance of project as a whole. However, there could be a symbolic connection between the community investment and a particular turbine. Rate the importance of the following ideas:

  Great Idea Good Idea Neutral Bad Idea No Opinion
Connection to a turbine that was easily viewable
A viewing platform and interactive storyboard nearby
Ability to have occasional tours to the turbine
Open days for the wind farm
Naming rights for the delegated turbine
A mural on the turbine
Local education activities e.g. with schools, university students, community groups, etc.

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* 17. Anything Else You'd Like to Add?

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* 18. Contact Information

Thank you very much for your time and responses.

We’d greatly appreciate your support in passing this survey on to your networks, friends and family who you think might be interested. 

Organisers
The Community Co-investment Initiative is a collaboration between CWP Renewables, Taryn Lane from Akin Consulting and Adam Blakester & Liz Gardiner from Starfish Initiatives.

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