Some Positive Solar News For You!
Hope you are enjoying the summer. It’s always a positive time for BEC as our solar generation hits the year’s high point – read on to find out about our best ever solar generation day. Also included is our visits to our solar schools, and as our EV charger project comes to an end, we have a report on what we’ve done and learnings for the future. Finally, if you’re in the solar business, we have a bunch of organisations wanting solar for their roofs – see the end of this newsletter.
As the sun shines more so our generation increases. BEC’s Associate Project Manager, David Owers, has created this spreadsheet for all you data geeks out there. It shows the record solar generation we’ve achieved this year to 31 May 2022 (just our 34 sites that use Solar Edge inverters, as the older sites don’t have this facility). In summary, we’ve generated a humongous 2.3 GWh of power this year, our BEST MONTH EVER was May 2022 when we generated a whopping 349 MWh and our BEST DAY EVER was 20th June – when we generated a huge 18 MWh of clean electricity!
BEC Members Carbon Saving Certificate
Each year we produce a Carbon Saving Certificate for BEC Solar Schools to display in their hallways. We think our wonderful Members also deserve a pat on the back, so we’ve created a certificate for BEC Members too. It’s always impressive to see just how much community-owned locally produced solar electricity Brighton Energy Co-op generates in a year, so the certificate shows the amount of green electricity you have collectively generated and the CO2 you have saved from going out into our atmosphere. Well done everybody and do feel free to show it off to your friends.
Solar Project Pipeline
BEC’s New Project Developer, Matt Brown, and Associate Project Manager, David Owers, are busy closing in on some big solar opportunities in Sussex, whilst undertaking an intensive period of Operations & Maintenance. Alongside the regular annual maintenance schedule some challenging animal situations have arisen, including squirrels that like to eat cables and seagulls who cover solar panels in poo. Charming!
Solar-connected EV Charger Network Project Complete
We believe hundreds of community energy groups could contribute to local transport electrification
BEC’s 3-year £100k project to trial business models that combine EV charging with renewable energy has successfully completed. We installed 11 charge points at 10 sites across Sussex and learned the criteria for choosing optimal locations based on running the charge points for over 12 months. BEC’s Full Report to Power to Change can be found here. and you can watch this short film with BEC Director Damian Tow explaining what the project was all about.
We’d like to thank Noeleen Keane for her great work on this project and wish her well with her new consultancy roles. Congratulations must also go to University of Brighton student, Nat Adamson, who wrote their dissertation on our Next Gen project which received an impressive 78% and managed to secure work at Ricardo PLC this Summer. Following the success of this project we are now available for consultancy via firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Solar Accelerator News
We’re really proud to announce our case studies for the first 2 successful Community Solar Accelerator (CSA) grant allocations and solar installations are available to read here for Weald Electronics and Woodhorn Group. It feels great to be helping local businesses tackle rising energy costs. Do you know a local business that uses a lot of electric and has a large roof? See if they’re eligible for our solar business grant here.
BEC Community Fund’s Solar Education Programme
BEC Community Fund Manager, Atlanta Cook, was invited to be a ‘city expert’ at the ‘Our City, Our World Leadership for Sustainability – Working Towards NetZero’ conference organised by BHCC, BHee & SWT. The conference was an opportunity for school Head Teachers, Business Managers, Governors and Eco-Leads to work together on a vision for sustainable schools in 2030. You can read the full blog here.
We were inspired by the enthusiasm of the participants to do more for our Solar Schools. So we’ve offered free energy assessment to our solar schools. We’ll help them increase usage of the solar electricity produced from their roof and help them find ways to reduce their baseload. Hertford Juniors’ Business Manager, Mark Stevenson, gave us a warm welcome tour of the solar panels and hot water boiler. Read the full blog on our first BEC School Visit here.
Our 13 Solar Schools will shortly be receiving their 2021 Carbon Saving Certificates & bespoke School Solar Leaflets as part of our annual Solar Education Programme. Keeping them informed and enthused about the solar power they produce is key to them valuing and therefore saving that energy. We are really pleased with how well our collaboration with the Energy Sparks charity is covering the educational side of this. Read about all BEC’s Solar Schools, Colleges & Universities here.
LIVE Solar Installer Opportunities
If you’re in the solar business, we have a bunch of organisations wanting solar for their roofs listed on our LIVE Solar Installer Opportunities page here. We publish tender calls form businesses looking to have 30kW+ Solar PV installations done soon.
In other sustainability news…
Brighton & Hove City Council is pioneering electric cargo bikes for clean city-centre deliveries. The full case study is here.
.Community energy artist/activists, Dan Edelstyn & Hilary Powell, are getting together with their community in Walthamstow, North East London (where 50% of local carbon emissions are from housing) giving themselves the power of Government and Central Banks to print money and unleash vital economic and imaginative stimulus. You can help them with their POWER STATION project here or follow their YouTube Channel here.
Find out how UK energy policy is blocking the growth of renewables and how Power for People are campaigning for solutions here.
We love a bit of sunny Solar News and hope you enjoyed Brighton Energy’s latest updates. There’s a Why Get Involved In Community Energy page here if you’d like to know more about joining Brighton Energy Co-op. Thanks to our Members for their continual support of community-owned renewable energy. You can sign up to and read all our newsletters here.
Brighton Energy Co-op