In just over three weeks, the Westmill Solar Co-operative has raised over £2m in its attempt to create the “world’s largest community owned solar farm”.
The encouraging figures see the project pass the halfway point in terms of its overall investment target, which upon launch on June 23 stood at £4m.
It reached the million pound mark in just over a week, and this second big milestone means that the project has attracted £95,000 of investment every day since take-off.
“This is amazing news”, said Adam Twine, one of the directors of Westmill Solar Co-operative, who was recently interviewed for Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide to Limitless Clean Energy (page 26).
“People are embracing the project wholeheartedly.
“Whether they are investing £250 or £20,000 – all have seen Westmill Solar Co-operative as a practical and worthwhile investment.
“With predicted average annual, index-linked returns of 11% for the 24-year period, it’s clearly seen as an ethical alternative to the more traditional bank-based schemes.”
The solar farm, which is located in Watchfield, South Oxfordshire, is made up of 21,000 solar panels, and is situated next to five wind turbines that form part of the Westmill Wind Farm – the successful investment model on which the solar project is based upon.
Around 2,400 individuals have invested an average of£1,800 into the wind project, and the Westmill directors hope the solar one can achieve similar feats.
One investor is Sue Roberts, a 54-year-old from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, who has put the maximum amount of £20,000 towards the project.
When asked about her reasons for opting to invest in the Westmill Solar Co-operative, she said, “I have invested in the past in the rock-solid banking sector and look what’s happened?
“For me this is a solid investment with guaranteed healthy returns, predicted at 11% average annually. Just consider that for a moment – where else will you get such a return?
“I’ve also advised my children to invest too – and after considering it carefully they’ve taken my advice.
“For me it’s also ethically sound. Planet change is real, it’s been scientifically proven, and our energy security will in the future become more and more compromised. It’s important that we get to grips with clean energy.”
Similarly positive testimonials can be found on the Westmill website.
The Westmill Solar Co-operative is an excellent example of the power of community-generated energy. Actually seeing first hand where your energy originates from, and having the opportunity to invest in a stable and profitable long-term project are two aspects that should not be taken for granted.
As well as the interview with Adam Twine, our Guide to Limitless Clean Energy looks at the whole renewable energy landscape. We wholly advise you to download it for free, and be inspired by the possibilities created by renewables.