The “world’s largest community-owned solar farm” has raised £1m just over a week after launching its initial share offer.
More than 270 people have pledged cash to Westmill Solar Co-operative, which has installed 21,000 solar panels at a site near Watchfield, South Oxfordshire.
The £1m raised so far means the co-operative is a quarter of the way towards meeting the £4m target it has set.
Naturally, the group are delighted with the project’s blistering start. Philip Wolfe, chair of the co-operative said, “I am delighted we have reached this milestone so quickly, which shows the support for the project and our aims.
“We believe the shares offer a long-term, inflation linked investment which allows everyone to benefit from returns over 10% thanks to the original rate of feed-in tariffs.
“We are expecting continued strong demand, as more people hear about this rare opportunity. We advise anyone considering investing to do so soon by visiting the Westmill Solar website!”
Individuals can invest anything from £250 to £20,000, and can expect an average yearly return of 11% over the 25-year investment period.
The long-term nature of the investment means that income will be safe and stable for the whole period – dissimilar to stock market investing.
The solar farm will produce 4.8 gigawatt hours of power every year, which will be enough to provide electricity to 1,400 homes in the area.
Adam Twine, one of the project’s directors, spoke with Blue & Green Tomorrow about the Westmill Solar Co-operative for our recent Guide to Limitless Clean Energy.
He also went into detail about the project’s predecessor and template, the Westmill Wind Co-operative, as well as talking about the broader benefits of community-generated clean energy.