UK’s first community owned solar power plant

A nice little story from Friends of the Earth in the UK.

A few years ago I invested a small amount in the Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative in Oxfordshire, which was at the time one of the first community owned wind farms in the UK.

It’s given a pretty good return over the past few years (a bit better than the some of the banks anyway) and it’s good to know that my money has helped produce clean, green renewable energy.

Now a share offer has been launched for what would be the first community-owned solar power station in the UK.

A non-profit society called Ovesco, based in Lewes in East Sussex, is hoping to raise just over £300,000 to install solar panels on the roof of a local Harveys brewery.

And appropriately enough the electricity generated will be used to cool their beer, Sunshine Ale.

Ovesco will sell surplus power back to the Grid, using the extra cash to help locals do things like insulate homes and generate their own clean green energy.

I’m definitely planning to put some money into this scheme as well – take a look at their website for more details.

Unfortunately, a lot of amazing projects like this are in jeopardy because the Government is currently reviewing the feed-in tariff, which offers a guaranteed minimum payment for all the electricity produced.

We’re campaigning hard for inspiring projects like this to get the support they deserve, so watch this space.

Glyn Thomas, UK Climate team

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