This page is for Westmill Solar Co-operative's 1,648 members, who all bought shares in the society. It provides up-to-date information from board meetings and also acts as a library of key documents.
Westmill Solar Co-operative recently consulted all its members on a proposal for the distribution of surplus funds carried forward from 2015. As a co-operative, member engagement is crucial so the board was delighted to receive responses from 491 members (32% of the membership) and with many responses including detailed comments.
In relation to the proposal to pay members an additional interest payment of 2p per share and to make additional community payments of £31,348 from the 2015 retained surplus, the voting was as follows:
- Yes - 455 (92.67%)
- No - 31 (6.31%)
- Abstain - 5 (1.02%)
In relation to the proposal that for 2016 and subsequent years payments to community causes and members’ interest should be allocated in the proportions of 15% community payments and 85% members’ interest, the responses were as follows:
- I agree that this is an appropriate allocation of payments - 300 (62.63%)
- I would like a higher proportion allocated to community payments - 40 (8.37%)
- I would like a lower proportion allocated to community payments - 139 (29.00%)
Given the number and variety of comments received, Westmill Solar will take some time to review these responses in more detail. As mentioned previously, Westmill Solar will consult further with members before any long-term proposals are finalised.
The 2016 AGM took place on Saturday 21st May at Shrivenham Village Hall. This year, for the first time, we held our AGM on the same day as Westmill Wind Co-operative and feedback from members was that this was well received.
As well as the formal business of the two AGMs, we heard from Dirk Vansintjan, President of the European Federation of Renewable Energy Co-operatives, who leads a renewable energy co-operative which supplies energy to its members in his native Belgium. Hear Dirk's inspirational talk (on vimeo). There was also be the opportunity to meet a range of other ethical organisations who work with Westmill Solar and Westmill Wind - and even a couple of local owners of electric cars.
On the day we took the opportunity to create this short three minute video (on vimeo) to capture what it means to be part of a community energy co-operative. Please share widely to spread the news of how co-operatives make change happen.
Official papers and minutes:
Minutes from the most recent board meetings are available here:
The co-operative is governed in a very democratic way with each member having one vote, irrespective of the size of their shareholding. The majority of shareholders have invested between £250 and £20,000 for A-shares under the public share offer. Around 80 people have invested between £10,000 and £75,000 under a private placement of B-shares which was only available to 'sophisticated investors' as defined in law. The B-shares are identical to the public offer A-shares in all respects, except that they are not withdrawable (as further described in Section 17 of the rules).
Peter Harper's inspirational speech at the Westmill Solar 2013 AGM.