Energy pioneer village's solar power share offer


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The Independent Online

Investors are being offered a stake in a new solar-energy plant serving a village that has a long history of pioneering new forms of power generation.

Wedmore Community Power Co-operative has been set up  by people living on the Isle of Wedmore to generate clean electricity from two paddocks of solar panels just outside the Somerset village.

It is not the first time Wedmore has pioneered new sources of energy: it had its own gasworks in 1870 and an electric power company in 1908, well before local towns.

The new share offer seeks  to raise £800,000 to fund the installation of 4,000 solar panels and associated infrastructure. For local investors the minimum stake is £250 while for those living outside the area the cap is £2,500.

Apart from the benefits to the community and the environment, investors are offered a projected rate averaging 9.5 per cent over the 27-year life of the project.

Wedmore Co-operative secretary Robin Mewes said: “We want to generate low carbon, renewable electricity at an appropriate scale and enable people to invest in clean energy and enjoy its financial benefits.”

The new co-operative also plans to plough back some of the profits into the area in the form of community grants for local organisations.

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