British Solar Renewables has been selected to manage the “pioneering” community-owned Westmill Solar Park.

The 5MW project was the UK’s first community-owned solar farm when it was developed in 2011. It has since been owned by the Westmill Solar Co-operative who selected BSR for its ongoing management following a competitive tender process.

BSR initiated a thorough review of the park and intends to optimise its performance on the back of its findings.

The Oxfordshire array provides power to the nearby villages of Watchfield and Shrivenham and the co-op’s 1,500 members share its revenues.

Martin Allman, director at Westmill Solar Co-operative, said the group was delighted to have BSR maintain the “excellent performance” of the six-year old solar farm.

“BSR have demonstrated a commitment to achieving high standards of quality and value for money on many other solar farm sites. Their team recognise the unique nature of our project and their passion for community energy is clear,” he said.

The award will meanwhile take BSR’s UK O&M portfolio to 536MW, and MD Graham Harding described Westmill as a “flagship project” for the company.

“We are extremely passionate about driving measurable cost and efficiency benefits for community energy. Our unique approach will go beyond business-as-usual to ensure Westmill retains its revered industry position,” he said.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal earlier this week Harding described how solar O&M was one of three key areas for BSR in 2018, alongside battery storage and international EPC work.