Brighton Energy Coop

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Building large scale renewable energy systems and using the income raised to fund innovative community projects

Sector

Energy

Location

Brighton, South East

Grant awarded

£102,333.40

Brighton Energy Coop (BEC) have more than 60 solar panel sites and generates income through the sale of solar electricity. This income is ploughed into a community fund, for local projects that do social good. Every year, members of the cooperative vote to allocate community fund cash to local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Brighton.

BEC have been exploring Electric Vehicle (EV) charging as an alternative way of generating revenue from solar panels, potentially making community-owned solar viable after the end of the Feed In Tariff in March 2019. Under a Feed in Tariff, eligible renewable electricity generators are paid a cost-based price for the renewable electricity they supply to the grid.

Next Generation innovation funding from Power to Change enabled BEC to pilot the installation of EV charge points linked to their existing solar arrays and to consider the potential for linked solar and EV investments at future sites.

Key objectives & Outcomes

Grant purpose

To explore an economically viable combination of solar systems, electric vehicle charging and batteries that could be scaled up in both urban and rural communities.

Locally rooted

Brighton Energy Coop was set up by local people who wanted to tackle the climate crisis.

Broad community impact

Any surplus income generated from the solar farms is placed into the community fund for local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Brighton.