Bath & West Community Energy have announced the launch of Community Solar 2020, a new programme to install community-owned solar power across B&NES and surrounding areas.
Community Solar 2020 will offer free solar panel installations for non-domestic buildings, including business premises, schools and community buildings.
BWCE will raise the money, install the systems, own and maintain them. They will then sell the solar-generated electricity to the building owner at least 10% cheaper than the grid and help them slash their carbon emissions.
In addition to reduced cost of electricity, organisations that install community-owned solar (and anyone involved with them) will be given an opportunity to invest in BWCE and earn an annual return of up to 4%.
Because BWCE is a Community Benefit Society, any surplus income from their solar power, after paying their community investors, is donated to local community projects to reduce emissions and fuel poverty through the BWCE Community Fund.
BWCE Managing Director Pete Capener said: “The primary mission of BWCE is not to make money but to reduce local carbon emissions.
“Since our inception in 2010 we have installed solar power equivalent to the annual demand of 4,000 homes on schools, public buildings and at our ground-mounted solar arrays.
“We believe that Community Solar 2020 offers a great opportunity for anyone concerned about the climate emergency to do something practical to reduce emissions, cut costs and increase the amount of community-owned renewable energy.”
If you would like your building to have community-owned solar, go to www.bwce.coop/community-solar-2020, where you will find guidance on roof suitability and a short survey to express interest.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alex Lockton on 07771 865115.