Westmill Solar Co-operative – the Oxfordshire-based 5 megawatt (MW) solar farm that raised over £4m in a community share offer in 2012 – has been recognised with a prestigious award as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week.
At a ceremony in Brussels, EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger revealed that the European commission had picked the project as a winner of one of only six awards, from 224 entries. It picked up the award for a project that reduces energy consumption, and was also praised for its innovative approach to financing, with 1,650 people pledging money towards its development.
Westmill, the brainchild of farmer Adam Twine, consists of 21,000 solar panels located at a site near Watchfield. The panels sit beneath five wind turbines, which the Westmill co-operative had funded through a previous share offer.
The solar project was boosted by a £12m investment from Lancashire county council’s pension fund in February. The pension fund itself received the pioneer award at the Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) recent British Renewable Energy Awards.
Accepting the consuming award at the EU event, Westmill chairman Philip Wolfe said, “We are delighted with the recognition that the European commission has given to our achievements.
“Energy commissioner Günther Oettinger highlighted at the ceremony the importance of finance for renewable energy projects, and our innovative arrangements were recognised.
“In accepting the award on behalf of Westmill Solar Co-operative, I expressed the hope that the example we have set would encourage more widespread community energy projects in the UK.”
Westmill says the solar project is the largest of its kind in the world. The 5MW farm generates enough electricity to power 1,400 homes annually, and saves more than 2,000 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
In February, a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) poll found that 78% of the public believe community benefits are integral to developing local renewables projects – with just 5% against. However, recent government onshore wind proposals will make it easier for local communities to block developments – with many critics blaming the anti-wind wing of the Conservative party for the measures.
Harnessing the power of a community
Westmill solar co-op gets £12m backing from Lancashire council pension fund
‘World’s largest solar co-op’ confirms park purchase
Ground-breaking solar co-operative surges past £4m target
Like our Facebook Page
The Pros and Cons of Fixed Prices for Sustainable Energy
How to Plan an Unforgettable Eco-Friendly Trip to Europe
Is Decarbonizing The Shipping Industry an Achievable Goal?
Designing Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits: Strategies for Reducing Environmental Impact
Green Living, Education and Awareness Are Keys to Preventing Mesothelioma
Canada Can Take New Steps to Make Healthcare Greener
Roy Bartholomew Shares Basics of Ecosystem Engineering
Understanding the Evolving Science of Environmental Health
Is Eco-Friendly Composite Decking Really Good for the Planet?
Eco-Friendly Composting Tips that All Gardeneners Should Follow
6 Home Improvements You Can Make to Help the Environment
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Eco-Friendly Party Favors Made for the Garden
One of the Most Unique Eco-Friendly Travel Tips: Try Rollerblading
Humane Pigeons Pest Control Tips Environmentalists Can Follow
Environmental Impact of Artificial Grass for Your Lawn
Choosing The Best Eco-Friendly Furniture Set for your Living Room
Planning an Eco-Friendly Bus Trip to Singapore with Friends
How to Travel More Sustainably While Saving Money
The Truth About The Environmental Impact of Dogs
6 Major Luxury Residential Projects Responding to Climate Change
- Energy10 months ago
How To Choose the Right Solar Inverter for Your Home?
- Energy11 months ago
How to Choose the Best Solar Panel for Your Home
- Environment11 months ago
Reduce Industry Footprints with Sustainable Material Swaps
- Environment10 months ago
Is Smart Building Technology the Future of Sustainability?