As Community Energy fortnight draws to a close, we’re delighted to share yet another local success story!
This summer Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) smashed a £2m solar bond crowdfunding target to finance its 4.6 MWp solar farm near Puriton, Somerset. Around 350 people invested in BEC’s bonds, showing the level of enthusiasm in Bristol for community renewables with their environmental, social and economic benefits.
This exciting news came in the week that BEC switched on its new solar farm at Lawrence Weston in Bristol, built in just six weeks, which is already generating electricity. After raising over £9 million for an ambitious portfolio of solar projects, the completion of this site made BEC the largest community energy company by capacity.
Altogether BEC’s planned installations will provide 9,268 kWp of solar PV capacity, generating an average of 9,300 MWh of electricity each year; enough to power 2,270 average UK homes. As a non-profit community energy co-op, BEC will use income generated from its solar portfolio to fund £4 million of social projects across Greater Bristol and Somerset over the 25 years of the projects.
BEC’s drive and determination to bring more clean energy to the region does not end with reaching this milestone. With its growing community of investors, BEC’s crowdfund continued with a share offer to help install solar panels on 10 additional community buildings across Greater Bristol this summer. Panels were installed on Coniston Community Centre in June, Wick Sports Ground has just been completed and the Architecture Centre is due to be finished this Friday. This follows BEC’s successful installations earlier this year on Easton Community Centre and Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre.
With the sun shining on its projects and people happy to invest, the future looks bright for Bristol Energy Cooperative and we’re looking forward to working with them on other innovative community energy initiatives.