British Solar Renewables has won a contract to operate and manage the UK’s first community-owned renewable energy project, Westmill.
The co-operative that runs the solar farm chose BSR to manage the 5MW project following a competitive tender, and the contract began this month, when BSR initiated a thorough review of the plant to optimise performance.
Martin Allman, director at Westmill Solar Co-operative, says: “We are delighted to have BSR working with us to maintain the excellent performance of our wonderful solar farm. BSR have demonstrated a commitment to achieving high standards of quality and value for money on many other solar farm sites. Their team recognise the unique nature of our project and their passion for community energy is clear.”
BSR operates and manages nearly 6% of the UK’s utility-scale solar power and Westmill takes its portfolio to 536MW across 50 solar parks. “We are extremely passionate about driving measurable cost and efficiency benefits for community energy. Our unique approach will go beyond business-as-usual to ensure Westmill retains its revered industry position,” says Graham Harding, managing director at BSR. “This is a flagship project for us and we’re excited for the opportunity to further demonstrate the value we are able to add to community energy projects which are an increasingly important part of the UK energy market.”
Westmill, near Watchfield in Oxfordshire, is an energy-cooperative, and all 1,500 members share in project revenues and have a say in how it is run. The solar farm was constructed in 2011 and taken over by the co-operative in 2012.
Read our interview with BSR’s managing director Graham Harding: “Lots of parks were built quickly but they were not necessarily built as solidly as they may have been.”
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