Cleaner energy for three Bristol community buildings
Solar panels are being installed on three Bristol community buildings as part of a £5 million initiative to expand the city region’s local green energy supply.
We hope that more people will be inspired to take up the opportunity to participate in the development of local renewables. This is just the beginning.
Bristol Energy Cooperative’s planned community energy programme is now closer to reality with panels fitted this week at Easton Community Centre and Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centres.
The new installations are funded by over £850,000 raised so far for the Cooperative’s crowdfunding #OwnIt campaign, which is asking Bristolians to join a growing community of people who want be involved in the development of clean energy.
Reaching the £5 million target would finance a portfolio of projects to develop local, clean energy, including two solar farms – one near Lawrence Weston and the other near Puriton, Somerset – and the installation of solar panels on around 20 community buildings.
Peter Thompson, Bristol Energy Cooperative Chair, said:
“Our #OwnIt campaign is a powerful example of communities coming together to lead the way on renewables and act on climate change; a fitting and lasting legacy post Bristol’s Green Capital year as the city aims for 100% renewables by 2050.
“We’ve just taken a major step forward in our ambitious plans with solar panels being installed on three community buildings across the city. As our campaign reaches its final month, we hope that more people will be inspired to take up the opportunity to participate in the development of local renewables. This is just the beginning.”
Bristol City Council is supporting Bristol Energy Cooperative by making its owned roof spaces available for the delivery of community-owned solar PV installation projects. As the Landlord of over 40% of land and buildings in Bristol, this transforms the opportunities for the community energy offer in the region.
The Cooperative invites investors to support them via a share or bond offer. Surplus income from the projects will go into a community benefit fund, and if all the projects go ahead and run as projected, £4 million would be paid into that fund over the 25-year project period.
The installations will be carried out by accredited renewable energy installers, 1 World Solar and Ecocetera.
The Cooperative previously raised £247,000 from over 200 investor-members, and installed solar panels on community buildings including Hamilton House in Stokes Croft, Knowle West Media Centre, and Easton Community Centre, which is benefitting once again from the latest funding.
Julian Weston, Finance Manager at the Cooperative, added:
“The solar panels plus other initiatives we have taken have reduced our energy costs by a factor of 50%. We think it’s a fantastic project because that saving, not only is it green and kind to the environment, it’s enabling us to use that money on other things around the centre.”
Find out more about how Bristol Energy Cooperative has already helped communities in Bristol and its future plans in this video.
Bristol Energy Cooperative has selected Ethex, an online investment platform, to market the share and bond offers and act as receiving agent for its investment applications. Ethex specialises in positive and responsible investment. Applications to the share and bond offer can be made at www.bristolenergy.coop.