Hi folks,

I’ve very pleased to say that our new 212kWp solar array at Shoreham Port is now ready to generate. Delivered on time and on budget, we’ve just a few more things to connect to the grid and we’ll be ready to go!

And we’re not finished yet. Our second project – another giant shed at the Port – is now open for investment. We expect all monies put into BEC to receive a 5% return on investment, as well as a 30% tax break on the amount invested. See here for the financial benefits, click here to join, or view our share invitation here.

People joining BEC will help to fund this second solar array – an impressively-sized solar system with the power to boil the kettle a staggering 12 million times each year. The 800 panels will be laid out in an east-west orientation; while not as efficient as a south-facing rooftop, our system modelling shows it will still be an effective piece of kit. With more than 10km of cabling flowing to the inverters and then to the substation, the system will again cost more than £200,000. See here for more details about the project.

Hundreds of people have already joined Brighton Energy Coop – you can be a part of our ongoing success story – see here.

Meanwhile this Christmas gave us an instructive example of how Brighton Energy Coop is able to benefit the community.

As many of you know we have panels on City Coast Church in Portslade. Since we installed the Church has saved £2400 on their electricity bill.

They used some of this money in December to fund a Carol Service and to give to a local charity. We’ve worked closely with City Coast manager Simon Lewis over the last few years. He told the Shoreham Herald:

“While the cost saving and the environmental benefits of hosting BEC’s solar panels are important, it’s the work the scheme allows us to do in the community that’s really valuable.

“At our annual Carols by the Coast service, not only did we put on free food, drink and carols for people, but we were able to raise money for Brighton-based domestic abuse charity Rise on the night.

“This is just one example of how we are using our energy cost savings for the benefit of local people, and it’s this ripple effect that BEC’s solar scheme has throughout the community that makes it such a worthwhile project to be involved with.”

I was also recently asked to appear on Brighton Free Radio, a great little project housed under the city’s station. This was a great opportunity for me to talk about some of my favourite subjects: the wider contexts of renewable energy, as well as how community energy can deliver it. I also explain about how BEC works and our recent projects: have a listen here.

Many thanks to all of you who’ve joined BEC in the last few months – it’s fantastic that there’s such a groundswell of support around our pioneering community initiative.

I hope you are all well.

Best

Will

Brighton Energy Coop

Join Brighton Energy Coop here

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