Solar farm looks for community buy-in


Bright idea: Westmill Solar Farm is set to open a community share issue

An Oxfordshire farmer has offered his local community a stake in one of the largest solar farms in the UK.
Adam Twine, of Watchfield, Oxfordshire, is set to make £4.5m of shares available to local investors in the next few weeks.  
Producing 4.4GWh of electricity annually, the £15m development at Westmill farm, near Swindon, contains 20,000 solar panels and has been running since last July.
Westmill Solar Co-operative, led by Twine, is now developing a share offer document in what he believes will be one of the first community-owned solar farms in the country.
The 51-year-old is experienced in renewable energy projects having set up the Westmill Wind Co-operative in 2004 giving locals a chance to own shares in a wind farm on his land. The scheme raised £4.6m which enabled the purchase of five wind turbines that now power about 2,500 homes.


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