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Westmill Solar

Social performance

Westmill Solar Co-operative believes that solar power is a clean, viable alternative to traditional energy production.

Cooperatives stand for equality. They mean one member, one vote, no matter how many shares are owned. They also mean that profits are shared by the members so when the cooperative does well, the members do well.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

Carbon dioxide saved

The 4.8MW solar installation was originally forecast to save just under 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year based on 2012 levels of carbon intensity for energy production. In 2018, Westmill Solar's output still avoided 1,503 tonnes of CO2 emissions even though the carbon intensity of the UK's electricity continues to decrease. 

Community investment

The Society’s income statement for 2018 includes a total of £86,148 (£50,755 in 2017) in Community Funding payments. As agreed by members in December 2016, this figure represents 15/85ths of the proposed 12p per share interest payment.

Also as previously agreed by members, £22,470 (equivalent to 1% of 2018 turnover) of the £86,148 has been paid or committed to WeSET (Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust) to support their educational and creative work in promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency.

WeSET have a key role (with the Low Carbon Hub and others) in the allocation of the rest of our Community Funding.

Payments that were made during 2018 included:

  • £11,447 to WeSET towards the development of their Schools Resource Pack
  • £2,500 to WeSET to develop a proposal for a ‘warm room’ at the Westmill site
  • £2,500 to Osney Lock Hydro towards the installation of a handrail to enable schools (and others) to visit the site safely
  • £5,000 to Low Carbon Hub to subsidise energy audits for community buildings in Oxfordshire
  • £5,000 to Renewable World to support their work in tackling poverty in the developing world through renewable energy

Clean Energy Generation

In 2018 the solar plant generated 5,350 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity. This was approximately 22% higher than the central (P50) forecast of 4,386MWh (on which the projections set out in the 2012 share offer document were based) and 11% higher than last year’s total of 4,809MWh. The increase in output compared with 2017 is largely the result of increased irradiation (basically more sunshine) over the year, and our generation was very close to the record annual generation (in 2014) of 5,393MWh.

This amount of generation is equivalent to the annual average consumption of approximately 1,725 UK households. On this basis, each member has effectively off-set all of their carbon emissions from their electricity usage - and 14% of a neighbour’s. And, even though the carbon intensity of the UK’s electricity continues to reduce, Westmill Solar’s 2018 output still avoided 1,503 tonnes of CO2 emissions – almost 1 tonne per member.

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Westmill Solar does not measure the environmental impact of its business as it has no direct employees. However, the Co-operative is managed by Ethex who do report on environmental performance here

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