A groundbreaking community-owned windfarm has signed a deal to supply power to Co-operative Energy.
From April, 40 per cent of the output generated by Westmill Farm in Oxfordshire will be used by Co-operative Energy.
Westmill Wind Farm is 100 per cent community owned by the Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative, which was established specifically to raise finance for and build the project. It has 2,374 members and was the first onshore wind farm to be built in the south east of England.
The deal is expected to transfer almost five million kilowatt hours (kWhs) of clean, renewable energy to Co-operative Energy for the financial year 2011/12, sufficient to power almost 1,500 homes for a year.*
The farm has five 1.3 MW wind turbines and was built following a share offer which raised £4.6m from the local community and the general public, with additional loan finance provided by the Co-operative Bank. The turbines became operational in 2008 and provide enough green electricity to power more than 2,500 average homes.
The deal will contribute to Co-operative Energy’s low carbon pledge: to provide electricity to its customers containing less than half the national average of carbon content.
Nigel Mason of Co-operative Energy said: “Co-operative Energy is proud and delighted to be taking renewable energy from Westmill Wind Farm, one of the first wholly community-owned wind farms in the UK and the first to be built in the south east of England. Our customers will benefit from clean, cost effective energy generated onsite in Oxfordshire.”
Mark Luntley, Chair of Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative said “We are delighted to be working with Co-operative Energy to offer their customers the option of ethically produced, clean energy generated right here in Oxfordshire. We are demonstrating that there is an alternative to the model of multinational corporations. People working together can deliver real change in their communities.”