Westmill Solar Cooperative Ltd. raised 2 million pounds ($3.1 million) in a bid to become the U.K.’s largest community-owned solar farm.
The company is seeking 4 million pounds in individual investments ranging from 250 pounds to 20,000 pounds and opened a share offering on June 23, according to a statement from the company released by e-mail today. It’s seeking to repay Blue Energy, a closely-held developer based in Cheshire in northern England that built the plant.
The 5-megawatt facility qualifies for the top level of feed-in tariff because it was finished before the government cut rates in August 2011. Energy from the farm will be purchased at a guaranteed above-market rate under a tariff that runs for another 24 years. The predicted average annual return on investment is 11 percent.
The project follows the example of five-year-old Westmill Wind Farm, which operates on the same site at Watchfield, southern England. It was financed by 2,400 individuals with an average investment of 1,800 pounds each.
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