The south of England's first wind farm owners' co-operative was launched in an Oxfordshire field where work began on digging the foundations for a 4.25 MW project. Around 400 people turned up at the site at the Old Airfield, Westmill Farm near Watchfield, to celebrate the launch of Westmill Windfarm Co-operative, says the organisers of the event. It took ten long years for developer and farmer Adam Twine to bring the £4 million project to the start gates. He had strong support throughout from Friends of the Earth and more recently from Cumbria-based Energy4All, which will manage the co-operative. Twine is still waiting to hear if he may install more powerful 1.3 MW turbines on the site instead of the five, 850 kW machines which received consent in 2001. Preference for co-op membership will be given to people living in the local community, who can take a stake in the project for as little as £250. Each member will have an equal say in how the co-op is run regardless of the size of their stake. The seven directors will be drawn from the local community.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol