A solar farm cooperative is seeking investors into its site near Puriton and is staging two information sessions to publicise the offer.

The solar farm owned by Bristol Energy Cooperative has already been built and lies near the M5 at J23 and the firm says that it gives people in the area “an opportunity to benefit from locally generated clean energy through investment.” The minimum stake is £500 which can be cashed in after three years or kept in the scheme for longer to earn more money.

The cooperative won’t be drawn on how much money an investor will earn in three years but the accepted wisdom in the industry is for an annual return of around six percent.

Bristol Energy Cooperative said: “The new three year fixed interest bond scheme follows a successful start to the #OwnIt campaign. Over £850,000 has been raised so far through the third and most ambitious fund-raise following the success of two previous share offers. The bond offer will help finance a 4.568MWp solar farm near Puriton.”

After three years the company say investors have the option to cash in their bonds or extend the bond beyond three years at five percent per annum. The bond offer closes Sunday 31 January 2016. The minimum investment is £500.

Chris Speller of the cooperative said: “After generating over £850,000 in our fundraise so far, we are inspired to make our Puriton project a reality. There are many reasons that the Somerset community might consider investing in our solar programme from tackling climate change to supporting the local economy. We feel we’ve created an easy way for individuals and communities to access the many benefits of renewable energy through investment.”

The cooperative are holding two open evenings for those interested in investing. They are at Bridgwater’s Victoria Park Community Centre, on 20 January from 7.30 to 9pm, and in Taunton, at the Creative Innovation Centre, on 21 January from 7.30 to 9pm.

Your opinions on solar farms and renewable energy to harry.mottram@nqsw.co.uk