Help us build more renewable energy in Brighton and beyond!
It’s a simple idea: basically everyone puts in a bit of cash and collectively we us this to build big solar energy systems. Money from selling this solar electricity gets distributed back to members, and to our community fund.
We have hundreds of members from in and out of the Brighton area – together we’ve already built more than £1.9m of community-funded solar PV.
Join BEC and Help our Schools go Solar!
You can help us grow: by joining Brighton Energy Coop you’ll be part of a community that creates more and more renewable energy. Our latest projects are focussed on solar on schools and educational buildings around our city – We have already raised £700K this year (2019) and already completed 5 more builds on schools. This is thanks to the over 500 mostly local people who have become members.
We are in the process of raising the investment to build 9 more. See below for details.
Here is a quick guide in investing in BEC
Total money (£2.6 million) raised by the community
Large scale solar installations built in and around Brighton & Hove
Members of Brighton Energy Co-op - and rising!
NEW PROJECT: Hove Park Upper & Lower Schools, Brighton
System Size: 50 & 60kWp: Hove Park School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form centre located over two sites in Hove. With several great south-facing roofs, we plan two solar systems at Hove Park which will green the schools energy supply and provide an excellent educational resource. Join BEC here to make it happen.
NEW PROJECT: Brunswick Primary School, Hove
System Size: 60kWp:
With over 900 4-11 year olds, Brunswick Primary is a large primary school – and consequently uses a lot of power. Our solar system will provide plenty of clean energy for the school’s needs.
AND save the school thousands of £££’s – this is community energy in action!
NEW PROJECT: Hertford Juniors & Infants Schools, Brighton
The two Hertford schools comprise of an infants and a junior school in the Hollingdean area of Brighton. Catering for a wide range of needs and abilities. The two systems on these schools will save them thousands of pounds each year. Let’s get solar on their roofs!
NEW PROJECT: Blatchington Mill, Brighton
System Size: 200kWp: Tucked in a high corner of Hove, Blatchington Mill School’s south-facing roofs are a great home for BEC’s proposed 200kWp solar system. Our locally-owned green energy system will build on the school’s already strong links with the community, and provide clean power to the teaching staff and 400 students. Join BEC here to make it happen.
NEW PROJECT: Westdene Primary School, Brighton
System Size: 60kWp: Westdene Primary is a pioneer of Brighton & Hove City Council’s solar schools program. Our new 60kWp solar system will be a clean power plant on the school’s roofs, and provide clean energy for the next 25 years.
NEW PROJECT: Mile Oak Primary School, Brighton
System Size: 60kWp: High up on the Sussex Downs, Mile Oak Primary School is also a partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council. Mile Oak will be a 60kWp system, and as well as providing educational resources to the children, our solar system will save the school thousands on their electricity bills each year. Let’s get solar on their roofs!
NEW PROJECT: Queen’s Park Primary School, Brighton
System Size: 60kWp: Kids come first at Queen’s Park; the positive, inspiring environment will be supported by a 60kWp solar array, allowing the school to put money back into helping every child succeed as a confident individual. Join BEC here to make it happen.
Community Investment in Brighton Solar
We raise money via investment from the wider community. By pooling resources it’s possible to raise large amounts of cash – other UK community energy organisations have raised as much as £20m of community investment for community energy projects in their locales.
To raise money and install solar panels we sell shares in in Brighton Energy Coop, a form of co-operative known as a Community Benefit Society (CBS). Shareholders become members of BEC. A CBS is radically different from a normal company – each member in the society has one vote, for example (regardless of the amount invested) and the maximum investment is £100,000.
Benefits of investing in Brighton Energy Co-operative
We aim to provide new members a return on investment of 5% a year, as we have for all our existing members, starting 12-18 months after each project is installed.
5% of capital is also available for repayment each year.
The minimum shareholding is £300 .
The maximum is £100,000.
For more details on becoming a Brighton Energy Co-operative member see here.
The Story of community energy in Brighton
Brighton community energy sprang to life in 2010. After six months of planning 8 people invested the start up capital that led to our first share launch in 2012.
During this period 120 people joined BEC, and we built our first solar PV systems.
Since then we have been mentored by many different organisations and have achieved press coverage both locally and nationally. More than 500 people are now members of Brighton Energy Coop; we’ve raised nearly £1,900,000 and built many big solar PV systems.
For a detailed look at how we got started check out the Sussex University research project on BEC here.