Solar panels to be put on well-known Bristol community buildings
A COMMUNITY-owned energy company is being launched in Bristol to generate "green" electricity by using solar panels on two well-known buildings in the city.
The Bristol Energy Co-op is launching an £87,800 share offer which will give investors a projected annual return of four per cent.
The money will be used to buy solar panels which will be installed on two community buildings – Hamilton House in Stokes Croft and Knowle West Media Centre in Leinster Avenue.
The aim is to buy a total of 167 panels which will provide more than 30,000kWh of electricity per year – enough to power six average-size houses.
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Mark Corbin of the Co-op said: "A number of community groups across the city were looking at forming energy co-ops so we pooled our skills and resources, and this is the result.
"We'll be growing Greater Bristol's local green energy supply and making the benefits of green energy open to all.
"In this first phase of the project, we're installing solar panels onto the roofs of community buildings in the Bristol area.
"The Co-op receives a guaranteed 25-year 'Feed-in Tariff' income from the Government for the electricity – no matter who uses it.
"We distribute that income back to our investors, and use any surplus to invest in further energy projects in the area.
"Our share offer gives everyone the chance to be a part of the renewable revolution, whether they own a roof or not. You can invest anything from £50 to £20,000.
"This is an ethical investment, with clear financial, environmental and social returns.
"Investors receive a projected four per cent annual return on their investment, the Co-op increases renewable energy generation in the city, and community buildings benefit from green energy at reduced prices.
"Whether you've put in £50 or £20,000, you get an equal say on how we run things, and what we do next.
"We'll also create business for the local energy firms we contract to install the panels. This is a win-win venture for Bristol."
Lord Mayor Geoff Gollop will be attending a launch event at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft on Wednesday where he will see some of the panels and be told more about the share offer.
A further share offer launch event takes place on Thursday at 7.30pm, also at Hamilton House, as part of the Bristol Energy Network meeting – visit the website www.bristolenergy network.org.
The Co-op is endorsed and supported by Bristol City Council, Bristol Green Capital Momentum group, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, and Buro Happold.
Hamilton House is a vibrant community hub "where art, music, enterprise and innovation cluster as a community rising to the challenges of today and tomorrow".
Knowle West Media Centre is based in South Bristol and supports individuals and communities to get the most out of digital technologies, music, media and the arts.
For more information about the share offer, which is open until May 18, visit the website www.bristolenergy.coop.