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United Kingdom

Financing success for UK's largest community owned wind farm

Plans for the UK's largest community-owned wind farm passed a milestone in January when Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative raised £1 million, just seven weeks after launching its public share offer. The co-operative is looking to raise a total £3.75 million to finance the purchase of five wind turbines. The equity raised will be supplemented by a bank loan. Organic farmer Adam Twine, who initiated the project and on whose land the wind farm will be built, says the swift response to the share issue has been overwhelming. "With the news agenda dominated by stories about fuel shortages, spiralling energy costs and concerns about nuclear power, support for green energy projects is clearly strong. The co-operative gives people a chance to do something positive for the environment and the projected long term returns are very attractive," he says. The share offer is expected to remain open until the end of this month. Membership is available to anyone. The minimum investment is £250 and the maximum £20,000. The co-operative expects returns for investors of approximately 5% annually for the first five years rising to an average of 12% over the 25 year life of the project.

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