Wedmore’s Co-operative Solar Power Plant Provides Clean Power To The Grid

Wedmore's new renewable power plant built by a co-operative of local investors was completed in October.

The team behind the £1.1 million project say the larger of two paddocks of solar panels has started feeding clean electricity into the grid and the second paddock will start generating later this week.

Vanessa Becker Hughes from Wedmore Community Power Co-operative said: “We have now installed the last of almost 4,000 solar photovoltaic panels and are working hard to complete cabling for the second paddock.”

The one-megawatt power plant off Quab Lane on the outskirts of the village will generate the same amount of electricity as 300 typical domestic solar arrays. Every year it will save around 450 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be produced by burning fossil fuels.

Later this autumn hedges of native species will be planted to provide additional screening around the paddocks.
Many local people have found temporary work installing the solar panels and other equipment. Anybody who works on the site is entitled to buy £250 shares in the co-operative – the minimum investment reserved for residents in the Wedmore area.

More than 125 people have bought shares in the project and two-thirds are from the local area. The total invested so far is £654,000, with just over £300,000 worth of shares still available and bonds also on offer.
Incentives for investors include a projected interest rate starting at 5% and averaging 9.5% over the 27-year life of the project and 30% tax relief under the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme

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