Westmill Solar Park, located near Watchfield, Oxfordshire, was the first community-owned solar park in the UK and the world’s largest when it launched. The co-operative chose BSR to manage the 5 MW project following a competitive tender, and the contract began this month, when BSR initiated a thorough review of the plant to optimise performance.
The Westmill solar farm was constructed in 2011 and taken over by Westmill Solar Co-operative in 2012. More than 5,000 community groups have launched energy projects in the last five years and many of the largest will be going to tender in the coming months.
“We are delighted to have BSR working with us to maintain the excellent performance of our wonderful solar farm” said Martin Allman, Director at Westmill Solar Co-operative. “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.”
Graham Harding, MD at BSR, added that the company is extremely passionate about driving measurable cost and efficiency benefits for community energy. The company regards Westmill as a flagship project which will further demonstrate its ability to add value to community energy projects, which are an increasingly important part of the UK energy market.
BSR is one of the leading providers of solar O&M services in the UK, with a dedicated and experienced team that have been able to develop their offering to meet the requirements of both commercial and community projects alike. It operates and manages nearly 6 percent of the UK’s utility-scale power. Westmill Solar Park takes the company’s portfolio to 536 MW across 50 solar farms.
Westmill is an energy-cooperative, and all 1,500 members benefit from a share in project revenues and have a say in how it is run. The solar farm saves up to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year by generating enough clean renewable electricity to power two nearby villages (Watchfield and Shrivenham).
Image: Westmill Solar Park, courtesy of Westmill Solar Co-operative