Great news! BEC recently polished off phase 1 of our solar schools programme: solar panels on five new educational buildings – including:

Woodingdean and Coldean Primary Schools (60kWp each)
Ore Valley College (250kWp)
– and 240 panels the Uni of Brighton’s Grand Parade building (60kWp).

It’s a phenomenal achievement – many thanks to all our new members and welcome on board.

These new solar systems cost just over £600,000 – money invested into BEC over the last six months. The fund-raise was joined by Coops UK who have invested £100,000. Successfully completing the due dilligence required by this national UK institution is a big boost to our credibility.

Onto the Next Stage – Nine new Solar Schools

So, next up is the second phase of our solar schools rollout: solar on nine schools (have a look at pages 3&4 of our share offer document for details).

This will cost just over £500,000 so to do this we are working with a Ethex, a specialist in raising money for projects with positive impacts. While we have raised funds in-house for eight years, our ongoing project pipeline means we need to up the ante, and this new partnership means us we can concentration to what’s important: building new solar.

A Co-operative approach gets the goods

Outsourcing competence like this is an onging BEC strategy. As well as the twenty partners who host our ten-thousand odd solar panels (including Brighton and Hove City Council), we work with ShareEnergy (who manage our membership), solar companies like GenFit and SolarRise, and of course the 500+ of you who support our efforts by investing.

It turns out that working co-operatively with other people help us grow!

Now onto our new solar schools. This is an extraordinary moment: BEC is installing faster than we have ever done. You can help make it happen. Every single investment counts, and we pay 5% interest on all monies put into BEC. You can join us here.

The time to take action is now

Finally, however you view the increasingly obvious environmental chaos that surrounds us, battling climate change ultimately comes down to us. And the best solution to the black tide of environmental evidence is to take action.

So I encourage you all to get involved in any way you can. If that means investing in BEC, then great. It might also mean pressuring your local authority to divest from fossil fuels, or getting involved in local campaigns.

But increasingly it means forcing politicians to act by using direct action, as the recent Extinction Rebellion protests demonstrate. You could get involved in one of Extinction Rebellion’s many events, or get involved in Reclaim the Power’s camp against new gas infrastructure in July.

For inspiration, watch the Bentley Effect which shows how an Australian community took direct action and forced politicians to stop gas drilling and ultimately shattered the industry in New South Wales.

You might look at how the website Frack Off has used skillful outreach and analysis to facilate a movement that has paralysed the UK fracking industry.

Or simply ask questions – freedom of information requests are your friend, as are online intellegence techniques.

The time to act is now – in whatever way you can.

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