Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative Ltd
The first wind farm in the south-east of England – 100% Community Owned
Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative Ltd, which was established in 2004 to build the first wind
farm in the south-east of England has given people an opportunity to invest in a greener future by buying a share in the unique project.
The wind farm on a former airfield in Watchfield, South Oxfordshire, is one of the first 100 per cent community-owned wind farms in the UK.
The co-operative has financed the purchase and construction of five 1.3 MW wind turbines through a 3.7m fundraising campaign that saw the public able to buy shares in the project. The turbines became operational on 19th February 2008 and provide enough green electricity to power more than 2,500 average homes.
Shares in the wind farm went on sale during November 2005 and were available to anyone across the UK. Each share is worth 1. The minimum investment is 250 and the maximum is 20,000. People living within a 50 mile radius of the site were given priority as the scheme was over-subscribed.
Each investor will receive an annual interest payment from trading surpluses, investors will be eligible for tax relief from the Governments Enterprise Investment Scheme and the original investment will be returned at the end of the 25-year scheme.
The wind farm is the brainchild of the landowner organic farmer Adam Twine. The Co-op is assisted by Energy4All, set up in 2002 to facilitate the ownership and operation of renewable energy projects by local or community based co-op’s.
Westmill was based on the highly successful wind farm run in Cumbria by Baywind Energy Co-operative Ltd. Set up in 1996, Baywind is the UKs first and largest community-owned energy project, run entirely by its 1,300 members who receive an annual interest rate of about seven per cent gross, including tax relief from the Governments Enterprise Investment Scheme.
For the latest on Westmill log on to www.westmill.coop.