Brighton Energy Coop kicked off our fifth project this week – a 200kw installation at Shed 3a in Shoreham Port, Sussex. 818 panels currently sit on the dockside of the port, waiting to be hoisted onto the roof where the framing system is being installed. It’s another huge system, and goes alongside the 880 panels we installed nearby on Shed 10 in November.

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818 ReneSola panels awaiting installation at Shed 3a – our new 200kWp system

A big thank you to our many members – over the course of the last eight months many hundreds of you have joined BEC, and we’ve raised more than £480,000 to pay for the systems above. We couldn’t have done it without your support.

With our rolling programme of installations Brighton Energy Coop is leading the way in community-owned renewables. We’ve grown by 300% in in the last twelve months and are in active negotiations with new sites that should see us double again within a year. Credit goes out to my fellow directors – Damian Tow, Ross Gilbert and John Smith who have helped steer BEC through the complicated waters of renewable energy development. During our many detailed meetings we scrutinise every aspect of the organisation on an ongoing basis – it’s great to have such sharp minds on board.

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Materials being hoisted onto the roof of Shed 3a

So once again we arrive at the fun part: building the kit. This week sees the framing system being installed at shed 3a – 13,000 bolts will be drilled into the roof to grip several kilometres of aluminium rods. By early next week the panels will be taken from their pallets and fixed to these rods; one by one AEQR workers will line the roofing tin (skirting the roof lights) until almost the entire roof is covered.

At the same time each panel will be wired up. A complicated system of almost 5 kilometres of cable will be laid from each panel to one of six inverters; this is the pathway for electricity to flow out of the system. On the other side the grid connection is also being readied. A thick (75mm) cable is to be hauled more than 100m through an underground tunnel to take power from our inverters and into the national grid.

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The framing system being installed

It’s an exciting thought that 3a will add to the already impressive output figures being generated by its sister system down the road. Shed 10 is regularly producing 1mWh per day – that’s roughly 60,000 kettle boils every 24 hours. To see that nearly doubled will confirm BEC’s journey towards a serious renewable energy generator.

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A long way to go yet – all this space will be covered by panels

We have many new projects in the pipeline, as well as some interesting news coming up over the next few months or so that could raise our profile in a big way. In the meantime I’ll be keeping you updated on progress at 3a via our twitter account and our Facebook page .

Hope you’re all well.

Cheers

Will

Brighton Energy Coop

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