Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Chippenham boss backs launch of solar farm share offer
Communities and families across the west are invited to be part of the launch of a unique share offer in Westmill Solar Cooperative this weekend.
The solar farm, which is based in Watchfield, could become the largest community-owned power station in the world.
The launch will be part of a wider Sustainability Fair and Open Day being held at the solar farm, an event to educate and entertain families across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, and beyond, about sustainability and green energy.
Juliet Davenport, CEO and founder of Chippenham-based Good Energy, which purchase all of the electricity from Westmill Solar, will be speaking about the importance of locally generated energy at the event.
She said: “At Good Energy we’ve always believed communities deserve to share the benefits of having renewable projects in their midst, and Westmill Solar Coop is a great example of how this can be put into practice.
“Solar is a natural partner for other forms of renewable generation, like wind, and will only become more and more important. It’s time to invest today for the energy market of tomorrow.”
The event is taking place within the Westmill Sustainable Fair, which is free, and runs from 11am until 4pm. The Fair will have activities for the whole family, lots of stalls, music and food.
Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications & the Creative Industries, will officially open the share offer at 1pm.
When the share offer opens, potential investors can make a long-term commitment of between £250 and £20,000. Part of the solar farm’s income will come from the 25-year government feed-in tariff contract, and as the site was generating clean electricity before August 1 last year, it has the benefit of the highest level of payment.
Philip Wolfe, who chairs Westmill Solar Cooperative’s board and who is known as a pioneer in renewable energy, believes the project has huge potential.
“This, in my opinion, is a unique opportunity offering a long-term, index-linked return to investors. I believe, on successful completion, Westmill will become the largest community-owned solar power station in the world.”