There are more than 200 energy coops in the UK. The largest are devoted to wind power, but the number of solar coops is also growing. There’s plenty of room for more: the largest solar coop in the US has 1.3 million members!
Community energy is not a new concept: on the continent, for example, citizens of Denmark and Germany own 20% of their green energy capacity. By joining Brighton Energy Coop you’ll help Brighton and Hove join this fast-growing movement!
Below are just some of the many successful community energy schemes in the UK:
LCS installed a 49kW solar array on Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster in November 2011.
The site generates clean, green electricity for the centre. The Coop raised The £150,725 from 94 locals, and the scheme was oversubscribed by 40%.
Lewes’ Ovesco installed a large photovoltaic system on the roof of the Harveys’ warehouse in July 2011. The 544 photovoltaic (PV) panels generate 92,000 kWh hours of green electricity each year — enough to save more than 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
The Coop raised £307,000, mostly via a share offer in the local community.
BWCE launched a £400,000 community share offer in September 2011. Over the next four months they installed solar PV on several schools in the area, part of 1.5 megawatts of community-owned solar in the area.
Westmill Wind Farm Cooperative opened in May 2008 in Oxfordshire. The co-op financed the purchase and construction of five wind turbines through a £4.6m fundraising campaign. Westmill Co-op has 2,374 members.
London’s first cooperatively owned solar power project was launched in March 2012. Brixton Energy Solar 1 houses several hundred square metres of solar panels on the roof of Elmore House in the Loughborough Estate in Brixton. The solar panels started generating power on the 30th of March 2012.
In 1996/7 the communities of Ulverston and Barrow in Cumbria raised £1.2 million to buy two turbines. In 1998/99 a second share offer raised a further £670,000 to buy another turbine. Since then they’ve built 5 other projects. The co-op currently has over 1,300 shareholders throughout the UK and abroad.
Hockerton Housing Project
Hockerton Housing Project is the UK’s first earth sheltered sustainable housing development: together the five houses generate 80% their energy needs onsite through wind turbines and solar pv, topped up by a renewable energy tariff – zero carbon since 1997!
Sustainable Hockerton installed a community-owned wind turbine in 2009, generating electricity equivalent to the amount used by homes in the parish. The 75 members invested a total of £235,000 and receive interest on their shares; and remaining profits will be invested in local sustainability projects.
Boyndie Wind Farm Co-op raised £750.000 and purchased a stake in Falck Renewables in 2006. The 716 members, each with a shareholding ranging from £250 to £20,000, receive annual interest on their shares. The wind farm generates 14 MW at full capacity.
Fesa in south Germany raises capital for energy co-op projects in South-Baden. So far they have raised about €20 million for investments in regional energy systems, including nine wind turbines, eight solar power systems, one hydroelectric power system and a power saving scheme.
Danish Wind Guilds
Over 600MW of Denmarks’s wind capacity is owned by guilds with over 100,000 members owning around 3200 turbines. Partnerships between the wind guilds and wind turbine manufactureres has helped Danish industry become a world leader. Your can read more about Danish community renewables in a DTI report here.