January 11, 2018
Burnham-On-Sea solar farm pledges £50,000 a year for community

A huge multi-million pound solar energy farm near Burnham-On-Sea is generating enough power for 2,000 homes - and its owners say £50,000 a year of 'surplus income' is to be given to the local community.

The 90-acre site at Wick Farm, between Burnham-On-Sea and Weston, has been running since last June with 36,000 solar panels now in operation.

It is owned by 'Burnham and Weston Energy CIC', a new community interest company, that is seeking involvement of local people.

Jake Burnyeat, Director of 'Communities for Renewables CIC', pictured, which set up the farm, says groups in the Burnham-On-Sea are set to benefit.

"We will generate £50,000 a year of surplus income over the 25 year lifespan of the solar farm - half will go to a new energy and fuel poverty advice service, while the other half will go into a community grant fund, to be overseen for us by Somerset Community Foundation."

He told "We are also working on a community bond offer that will enable people and organisations to invest in the solar farm, from £250 up to larger amounts in return for 5% variable interest."

"We raising awareness of the project and opportunities for local people and organisations to get involved, including looking for some suitable local people to get involved in the governance of Burnham and Weston Energy CIC as volunteer directors."

Mr Burnyeat, who was among several speakers at a meeting of Burnham-On-Sea Chamber on Wednesday night, added that the power gets fed into the local grid and is fed into local homes via "one of the UK's big six power providers," but he said that the firm hopes to offer domestic customers a 'green' local power supply soon.

He added that sheep continue to be allowed to graze on the solar farm, demonstrating its 'green' credentials.


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