THE OPPORTUNITY to own part of a unique community solar power station has proved irresistible – with more than four million pounds invested in just six weeks.
A share offer for the solar farm on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border has closed with applications coming in to the last minute and £4m raised.
Directors have now announced that the offer was fully subscribed though final figures will not be known for some days.
Director Adam Twine said: “It’s been a hectic six weeks since we launched at the end of June, particularly in the last week as hundreds of applications came in each day.
Westmill Solar Cooperative will be the only large-scale solar farm in the UK that is set to be community owned. Covering 30 acres with 5MW of solar panels, it will become the biggest community owned solar farm in the world.
The final number of applications will not be known immediately as there are still a sizeable number of applications that need to be cleared through the bank. But directors have confirmed the offer was fully subscribed by the close yesterday with more than £250,000 a day coming in over the final few days of the offer.
The majority of the applications have come from people local to the site – almost 60 per cent living within 40km. Successful applicants will become members of the co-op on the successful purchase of the solar farm from seed funder Blue Energy.Philip Wolfe, chairman, said: “We are now working to bring together the balance of capital required, and we look forward to concluding the eventual purchase of the project in October. “Community ownership of a photovoltaic installation of this scale in the UK used to be just a dream; now we’re making the world’s largest co-operative solar park a reality.”
All will have an equal say in the running of the solar farm as it is run on a ‘one member one vote’ principle, irrespective of the size of shareholding.
“They will also have the satisfaction of being part of an exciting project that is breaking records and making history,” Philip Wolfe said.
Follow developments on Twitter at @westmillsolar
Pictured: Philip Wolfe, Adam Twine, Mark Luntley & Mark Shorrock.