The beneficial owner of the operating solar power plant and the revenue it produces

The solar park at Hemau in Germany - arguably the first community-owned large-scale solar power plant

Leading community-owned solar power plant

Most utility scale solar power stations are owned by independent power producers, institutional investors or utility companies as described here. A small but growing trend is the establishment of community energy projects and a few of these have now entered the utility scale solar sector.

Community energy projects are typically owned by collaborative ventures established by a broad group of individuals and families, often located in the neighbourhood of the project.

These individuals together raise the investment needed to provide the equity for the project. They are also often able to source their electricity from the plant which they own.

The community owned projects on the Wiki-Solar Database are shown on this map.

An Open Day at Westmill Solar Co-operative

Case study

Westmill Solar Co-operative owns the 5 MWp photovoltaic power plant at Watchfield near Swindon in the United Kingdom. Its 1,650 members together raised about £6 million in equity. A further £12 million of debt finance is provided by the pension fund of a UK local authority.

Westmill Solar Park

The co-operative has agreed to earmark a small part of its revenue stream for the promotion of sustainable energy activities in the neighbourhood.