We are excited to have been awarded a £560,000 grant from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to help turbo charge our portfolio of community solar rooftop projects between now and 2025.
The money will help us install over 2MW of solar PV onto schools, community buildings and SMEs in Bristol and the surrounding area within the next 3 years. It’s a triple win that will support local buildings with rising energy bills, support local jobs and businesses, and make an estimated annual carbon saving of 412 tonnes Co2e.
Community solar is our bread and butter. Since 2010 we have installed over 4000 solar panels onto 12 community-focussed buildings and two businesses. Our expertise in this area makes it one of the best ways we can quickly deliver impact on climate emissions in the region.
In response to the urgent need to shift away from fossil fuels, we have created a dedicated project to scale up solar to deliver at least 2MW more solar generation between now and 2025. This project, named the South West Local Solar Scheme, will specifically look to support small to medium sized businesses and community-focussed buildings such as schools. The project is likely to see around 10 businesses or community buildings benefitting from the solar PV schemes, with rooftops ranging from 20kW – 500kW. We will be maximising the opportunity on each roof in order to see the largest carbon-saving.
For each site, we offer free installation of a quality, carefully-sourced solar array using a trusted local installer. The site will be insured and receive free annual maintenance. All maintenance is undertaken by local trusted contractors and paid for by Bristol Energy Cooperative.
The electricity generated on the roof and used in the building is sold to the sites at rates cheaper than market prices. This is particularly welcome news at a time of energy price uncertainty.
Surplus revenues from all our projects are redistributed via our Megawatt Community Energy Fund.
We can also support host sites with education opportunities to better engage the building users about the solar rooftop.
WECA’s £50 million Green Recovery Fund aims to help tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies and create new green jobs across the West of England. Set up in 2022, the fund will be supporting an array of projects in the region, including 113 acres of new woodland in North East Somerset, funds for retrofitting homes, a new nature reserve in the Frome Valley, and money to boost local onshore wind turbine development.
We are delighted to have received the full requested funding to help us scale up our community solar projects. The grant funds do not cover the project in full, so look out for share offer opportunities in the coming 12 months!