Community-owned renewable energy projects are not new, but Westmill solar is the first such solar park project. Community energy schemes are widespread in Europe, and in Germany 25% of all renewable energy is owned by community projects. A similar proportion is community owned in Denmark, and both countries have a larger share of renewable energy generation than in the UK. For example, in Denmark almost each town or village has its own community owned renewable energy project, including an 82 MW offshore wind farm that is co-operatively owned.
In the UK, pioneer projects such as Westmill wind farm (located next to the solar park) have shown that the model is successful here too and creates numerous benefits for investors and communities. Most UK schemes have mostly been wind farms. Westmill Solar has taken this model into a new technology by creating the country’s first, and the world’s largest, community-owned solar farm.