Bristol’s music scene is about to get a green boost!
Later this year, we’ll be putting 348 solar panels on the rooftop of the iconic Bristol Beacon music venue. That’s four times more solar than originally planned.
Using our community-funded approach, we have been able to maximise the roof space, transforming it from a 30kWp array to 127kWp.
We’ll sell the electricity to the music charity, making a bit of money which we can funnel back to our investors and the community.
It’s dazzling to think that community-owned solar will be powering renowned musicians from around the globe.
We’re expecting that nearly all the energy will get used up in the building. The music hall has a bursting calendar of music, talks, exhibitions and workshops, both night and day. The creative learning space brings in over 30,000 young people every year across a diverse mix of communities in Bristol. There is also a lively café and event space used by community groups across the city.
If you’re ever visiting the building on a sunny day, you can delight in how the lights and coffee machines are being powered!
Bristol Beacon is undergoing major refurbishment works at the moment and hopes to be the UK’s first carbon neutral music venue. Leading the works is building contractor Willmott Dixon, who are helping the Beacon to achieve their ambitious sustainability goals.
For our part, we’re really pleased to have done our bit in reducing the carbon footprint of the building with four times more solar. Our involvement brings other benefits too. We’re using local installers and maintenance teams, which supports small businesses in the region. Our community ownership model also allows our 1500+ members to feel a sense of connection to our project sites, knowing that they have contributed to the development of these schemes.
The landowner Bristol City Council has been very supportive of the project too. Maximising roofspace like this is important for Bristol to help reach its ambitious goal of net zero by 2030.
The Bristol Beacon rooftop will become our seventeenth renewable energy project in the region. It’s not the first time we have developed solar panels at an arts venue. Our previous installations at Bristol Folk House, Acta Community Theatre and Knowle West Media Centre have helped these creative hubs to save on bills and funnel more of their revenues into their services.
Later this year, we will also be putting a massive 1MWp installation on the new Bottle Yard Studios (TBY2) in south Bristol. This is believed to be the UK’s largest community-owned solar rooftop. In a similar style, our involvement in this scheme more than tripled the solar array on the rooftop.
If you’re a community venue in Bristol looking to put solar on your rooftop, take a look at our “free solar PV” webpages to find out more about how it works.