Communities and families have been part of the launch of a unique share offer in the Westmill Solar Cooperative, based at the windfarm on the edge of Swindon.

And that is down to Adam Twine, a man who has farmed in the area for 25 years and who has the greenest credentials of any businessman in the UK.

Last month government minister Ed Vaizey officially opened the share offer on the site of the solar farm at Watchfield and he was the first person to throw his hat in the ring.

Ironically Adam stood for the Green Party against Ed in the last general election and the two of them are friends with the Conservative MP respecting the need for alternative energy sources.

On successful of the share completion, Westmill will become the largest community-owned solar power station in the world because solar is a natural partner for other forms of renewable generation.

Adam is the Business Person of the month, which is sponsored by the Swindon Marriott Hotel and the Advertiser.

He has farmed 1,200 acres at Westmill farm and as a tenant of the National Trust at Colleymore farm for over 25 years. He was a driving force behind Westmill wind farm and a founding director of Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative in 2004. Recently he has set up the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit, a not for profit information sharing organisation, to engage with farmers around climate change, helping reduce green house gas emissions from farms.

“Potential investors can make a long-term commitment of between £250 and £20,000 in the co-operative,” he said. “Part of the solar farm’s income will come from the 25-year government feed-in tariff contract. As the site was generating clean electricity before August 1 last year, it has the benefit of the highest level of payment.

“It is a unique project and, alongside the community-owned wind turbines, we are leading the country in an exciting new model for locally owned and locally generated renewable energy, and we believe will be the largest community-owned solar farm in the world. The share offer, although open across the UK, gives priority to local applicants and as the solar farm gives a return on investment far better than most other long term investments we expect to be oversubscribed before the July 31 closing date.”

On the site, there are more than 21,000 polycrystalline solar panels producing 4.8GWh per year – enough to meet the average annual electricity requirement of 1,400 homes.”

The share offer is to raise up to £4m equity. Westmill Solar is also working with Investec, a leading investment bank, to secure a bond to complete the £15m purchase from original investor Blue Energy.

The Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative raised £4.3m and has 2,300 members.

Applying online is the quickest way to buy shares and the address is or email

Follow developments on Twitter at @westmillsolar