Free, community funded solar panels for businesses, schools and community buildings

14 Feb 2020

Bath & West Community Energy are pleased to announce the launch of Community Solar 2020, a new programme to install free community owned solar power on commercial, school and community buildings in Bath & North East Somerset.

Free installation of solar power

Community Solar 2020 will offer free solar panel installations for non-domestic buildings e.g. business premises, schools and community buildings.

BWCE will raise the money, install the systems, own and maintain them. We 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.

Involving and supporting the local community

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 our solar power, after paying our community investors, is donated to local community projects to reduce emissions and fuel poverty through the BWCE Community Fund (£155,000 donated so far).

BWCE Managing Director Pete Capenter 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”

Solar Roof Spotters required!

A key feature of Community Solar 2020 is that we want to involve the whole community, not just the organisations that might install the solar power. Everyone concerned about the climate crisis, including schoolchildren, are invited to become Solar Roof Spotters to help us find potential roofs for the project. BWCE have produced a ‘Roof Spotters Guide’ providing lots of information and photographs to help people find suitable roofs.

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 communitysolar2020@bwce.coop or call Alex Lockton on 07771 865115.

About Bath and West Community Energy Fund

Bath & West Community Energy Fund (BWCE) develops community owned renewable energy projects, offering local people the opportunity to invest in local projects, earn a reasonable return and as members have a say in the running of the organisation. BWCE is a community enterprise, set up for the benefit of the community and to support local action to reduce the impact of climate change.