10MW Shropshire solar farm to be managed by new community energy group


TWEMLOWS Solar Farm near Whitchurch is reportedly to be managed by a newly formed community energy group.

The 10MW scheme was built in 2015 using private finance but new home has been then sought for it in the community sector.

The new managers, Shropshire & Telford Community Energy (STCE), has been founded as a Community Benefit Society to develop and own community energy projects in Shropshire and Telford.

The solar farm plan is a part of a Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners’ (CORE) project to bring renewable energy into community ownership, with CORE itself being a social investment partnership between Big Society Capital and Power to Change.

Founding members of the STCE made their first site visit on 18 July, after working primarily through virtual meetings and webinars due to COVID-19.

STCE aims to have the community benefit society set up this month and launch their share offer in October to allow local people to invest directly in the project.

Founding member Nick Saxby, told Solar Power Portal: “I’ve been aware of the site for many years, and drive past it often, but it’s exciting to now be so involved in its future.

“It was great to finally get to visit, meet the landowner, and talk face-to-face with my STCE colleagues”.

In March, Twemlows was one of six CORE-supported community-run solar farms that together advanced a total of £195,000 in community benefit funds in order to support their local communities through the COVID-19 crisis.

CORE recently celebrated the connection of the UK’s first subsidy-free community solar farm, Creacombe, in partnership with Yealm Community Energy.