Brighton solar project given investment boost

Posted On 14 May 2012 at 10:31 pm

Brighton Energy Co-op has raised almost a quarter of the £200,000 that it is seeking to fund a solar power project in the area.

It said that 40 people had pledged £45,000 between them with two days to go before the Energy Co-op’s share offer goes live.

Most of the pledges have come from people who live in Brighton, including the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas.

Others include a 26-year-old website designer and a retired offshore gas rig worker.

As well as the £45,000 pledged so far, Brighton Energy Co-op said that it was also in the running for a further £50,000 through a loan.

The money would come from the Pure/BRE Community Energy Fund, taking the Energy Co-op almost halfway to its target.

Will Cottrell, the Energy Co-op’s chairman, said that it had had “its fair share of travails – in November 2011 the scheme was put on hold pending the government’s sudden cuts in the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme.

Viable

“Dramatic falls in the price of solar mean that the project is once again viable – until the next round of FiT cuts early in July.”

The Energy Co-op expects to generate profits by selling surplus power to the national grid and being paid for it through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

The share offer opens at 7.45pm on Wednesday (16 May) at the Friends Meeting House.

Caroline Lucas and the incoming Green Party leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Councillor Jason Kitcat, are due to attend and address potential investors.

The Energy Co-op’s directors will also explain how it has evolved and answer questions – with free tea and cakes on hand.

Mr Cottrell said that anyone who could not make it on Wednesday would be able to read about the Energy Co-op’s investment invitation from early on Thursday morning.

This would include an in-depth analysis of what the share offer entails, how the proceeds would be spent and a chance to take part even as a small investor putting in a minimum of £400.

The funds will be used to buy and instal solar panels on the roofs at Shoreham Port, St George’s Church in Kemp Town and City Coast Church in North Street, Portslade.

 

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