Westmill Solar Cooperative to open largest community-owned solar energy systemNovember 9, 2012
Westmill Solar Cooperative solar energy project the largest of its kind in the world
The Westmill Solar Cooperative, a community-based alternative energy conglomerate, has announced that it will be opening the world’s largest community-owned solar energy project in the United Kingdom. The solar energy project will be located in Oxford and will encompass some 30 acres of land. The Westmill Solar Cooperative suggests that the project will reflect the interest the UK public have in regards to sustainability and alternative energy, thus reinforcing speculation that alternative energy is becoming more popular in the United Kingdom.
Solar energy system will generate 4.8GW
In late October, the Westmill Solar Cooperative completed the acquisition of the land that would be used for the massive solar energy project. The project will be comprised of more than 20,200 photovoltaic solar panels that will generate some 4.8 gigawatts of electrical power annually. The Westmill Solar Cooperative notes that this is enough energy to remove some 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the UK and keep 1,500 average homes powered for a full year.
Land connected to UK energy grid back in 2011
The solar farm has been operational since July 2011, but was then owned by a company that had already established plans to sell the land to the Westmill Solar Cooperative. The solar energy system that existed on the land at the time provided a modest amount of electricity to the UK energy grid. Once the land is fully developed, it will be a more significant boon to the country’s energy needs.
UK continues to support solar energy
The United Kingdom has grown intensely interested in the use of alternative energy as a way to steel itself from rising fossil-fuel prices and the economic implications of political tensions with the Middle East. The country has ambitious emissions and sustainability goals it wishes to meet by 2020, but will be unable to do so without an aggressive adoption of various forms of alternative energy. Thus far, the UK government has shown favor for offshore wind energy and solar energy, believing these two to be the key to success in the nation’s sustainability endeavors.