SHARES in a new £1million solar energy plant in Wedmore will go on sale today (June 13).
The project will see two paddocks of solar panels, totalling around six acres, on land off Quab Lane to the north-west of the village and will be run by a community-owned solar energy business.
The new Wedmore Community Power Co-operative is being run by local investors who can buy shares.
Co-operative secretary Robin Mewes said: “An initial share issue has already raised £150,000 to develop the project but now the main share offer seeks to raise a further £800,000 in six weeks to fund construction of the solar arrays.
“We want to generate low carbon, renewable electricity on the Isle of Wedmore at an appropriate scale and enable local people to invest in clean energy and enjoy its financial benefits.
“As well as enabling the community to work together in reducing its carbon emissions, the project allows it to take control of its energy production, thus becoming more resilient.”
He added the group plans to plough some of the profits back into the area in the form of community grants for local organisations.
Bob Hayter, chairman of the Co-operative, said: “I firmly believe local communities must take every available opportunity to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We cannot expect central government to do everything.’’
At peak performance, the plant will generate around 1,000 kilowatts of clean electricity – equivalent to 300 domestic solar power installations – and feed it into the local grid.
If the share issue is as successful as expected, work on installing 4,000 solar panels will start later this year and take about six weeks.
For more information call Robin Mewes on 01934-712826 or visit www.wedmorecpc.co.uk