Brighton Energy Coop’s new community-funded solar array started generating renewable electricity for the first time today (Friday 14 February).
Mike Weatherley, Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, switched on the new 1,000-panel, £250,000 solar array, which has been funded entirely by members of the public, saying he was delighted to support “this inspiring initiative”.
The renewable energy scheme, on the roof at Shed 10 in Shoreham Port, will generate enough electricity to power offices, a repair workshop and other port operations.
This array is the first completed stage of a three-phase, £700,000 project that when finished will generate more than 500kWp of renewable solar energy.
BEC has now launched its share offer for phase two of the project, a 200kWp, £240,000 array on Shed 3a at Shoreham Port. Those interested in investing can go to brightonenergy.org.uk for more details.
After switching on the array, Mike said: “What I have seen today demonstrates the real value of community-funded energy schemes. Brighton Energy Coop not only offers people an opportunity to invest in solar energy, and get a financial return on that investment, it creates work for local solar installers, and helps businesses and organisations reduce energy costs and become more efficient. That’s why I am delighted to support this inspiring initiative.
“Community-funded energy is about local people taking control and making decisions, unhindered by bureaucracy, for the betterment of their immediate neighbourhood and beyond. Thanks to all those involved in this scheme, Brighton and Hove is now one of the leading community energy cities in the country, a fact of which we can all be proud.”
Will Cottrell, director, Brighton Energy Coop, said: “We are thrilled to complete another solar array and I’d like to thank all our investors without whose support our projects would not be possible.
“The completion of this latest array is further proof that Brighton Energy Coop’s model for creating renewable energy schemes in the city is an exciting alternative to more traditional ways of doing things. With the obvious benefits to local businesses and organisations, communities and individuals we are confident we are on the right track.”
Peter Davies, development director, Shoreham Port, said: “As a trust Port, Shoreham is very supportive of developments run by the local community and was keen to be a part of Brighton Energy Coop’s project. We now have more than 1,200 solar panels on the Port, with another 800 planned for later this year. This will help us to cut our energy bill and reduce our carbon footprint.”