Westmill WIND Farm is the first wind farm in the South East of England and the first 100% community owned scheme in the UK from commissioning. The five turbines produce pollution-free electricity for over 2,500 average homes.
The wind farm consists of five towers 49 metres high, topped by a nacelle containing the generator, gearbox and other operating equipment. Each generator is driven by a three-bladed propeller, with each blade measuring 31 metres.
The electricity generated is conveyed by underground cable to a sub-station, where it is be metered and fed into the local grid. Crop farming continues as before with planting taking place right up to the base of the towers.
The blades start turning when the wind speed at hub-height reaches 3 to 5 m/s. At very high wind speeds the blades stop rotating to prevent damage.
The turbines are maintained and insured throughout their working life, which is expected to be for the 25 years of the planning consent.
Funding of the £7.6m project is from a public share issue and a loan from the Co-op bank allowing local ownership of the site and maximising the social, environmental and economic benefits to the area.
Westmill 5MW SOLAR Farm came on stream on the 10th July 2011, and with its 20,260 PV panels covering 30 acres, is the largest solar PV Farm in the UK .
The farm will generate 4.4 GWhr/ year - the equivalent of a year’s electricity consumption by 1,000 homes in Oxfordshire.
The SHARE OFFER for the SOLAR Farm will be launched at the Open Day on the 23rd.
People taking up shares and bonds will become members of the UK's largest co-operatively-owned solar energy project.