Best Wishes To All Our Members For A Solar Filled 2021!

Now we’re 10 years old and have been creating Community Owned solar energy projects for over a decade, we’re turning our hands to sharing our lovely green electricity with more of you!  We’re close to installing the South East’s first community owned solar-linked Electric Vehicle Charge Points!

Our Solar-Linked Electric Vehicle Charge Points On Brink Of Roll Out!

Towards the end of 2020 we began a ground-breaking project to develop a local network of chargers for Electric Vehicles (EVs), powered by solar.  We’re stoked to announce that the first one is seriously close to launch!  We’ve been beavering away in the background with our wonderful solar sites to find the right venues to install EV charge points that draw on the solar generated electricity that our solar arrays are generating. Funded by the Next Generation Community Energy Programme , we’ve teamed up with Pod Point Electric Vehicle charge points to access the very latest in EV charging technology so 6 of our solar project sites can sell their green electricity to their customers, employees & visitors. We’ll also be working with local community groups to deliver benefits to the wider communities and developing business models that can be utilised by other community energy schemes. We’re aiming to get 10 chargers across 6 of our sites installed, activated and promoted in the first half of 2021!  Keep an eye on our EV webpage & blog for updates.  

Can you help spread the word to anyone you know with an Electric Vehicle?

Community Solar Hits The Big Time!

100% Renewable UK interviewed BEC’s full time New Project Developer, Matt Brown about our plans for some much bigger projects. “…first in the queue is likely to be a 15MW array at Shoreham Port, with whom BEC has worked previously. The port already has various renewable energy projects, but the latest project will include wind, solar and hydrogen developments. BEC is also planning projects with SMEs without the support of feed-in tariffs. Hitherto all of BEC’s 62 projects have been funded through the solar feed-in-tariff (FIT), but with just four of these left in the pipeline, BEC is looking to start projects on a subsidy-free basis – that is apart from some mega projects like Shoreham where there will be other partners from the energy sector.

Matt Brown adds: ‘BEC raises equity funds from its 700 members to fund the solar arrays which are owned by BEC. We then sell power to the site hosts. We’re offering to sell them power at 10-11 p/kWh now that the FIT has ended. It means that we won’t be able to raise so much for community purposes. So far we are heading towards raising around £1million for community purposes on the basis of the FIT schemes. But even without the FIT local businesses will still be able to access green energy and lower their electricity bills at the same time’. So far BEC has raised around £3.5 million from the members of the cooperative to pay for the projects to be installed. BEC sub-contracts with solar pv installers to implement the projects.”

If you would like to read the full article and find out more about 100% Renewable UK click here  

Brighton Energy Co-op Team Continues To Grow

Clockwise from left…

Atlanta Cook became BEC’s Communications & Community Fund Manager in November 2020, to keep our Members and supporters up to date, manage our website, liaise with the press and engage with BEC Solar Schools to redevelop our Education Programme funded by BEC’s Community Fund. As a longtime eco educator, campaigner, event organiser and charity fund-raiser, she brings a wealth of experience to our team. 

Noeleen Keane joined the BEC team in December 2020, focussing on developing new income streams for BEC through the roll out of Electric Vehicle charge points at some of our solar sites. She has a background in developing innovative new products and services in renewables – solar, low carbon heating & EVs.  Expect to hear more from her as the EV charge point rollout progresses.

Maria Jimenez has just completed her Masters in Sustainable Development at the Sussex Policy Research Unit of Sussex University. Having previously interned in various roles, including with the UN Economic Commission of Latin America and Caribbean, Maria has been focussed on updating the BEC Operations Manual, as well as helping out with our ongoing system monitoring and analytics. 

Pete Nolan recently graduated from University of Sheffield where he was part of various campaigns including those around divestment, and renewable energy. He worked as a policy researcher for the university’s sustainability strategy. He’s chair of Forest School Camps’ sustainability committee, works with South Coast Alliance for Transport & the Environment, and is a volunteer at Brighton Bike Hub.  Pete has been working on BEC’s 10 Year History, as well as analysing data from our solar installations with a view to improving performance.

Let’s Go Zero 2030 Campaign!

We’re hoping that the 13 schools Brighton Energy Co-op have given free solar systems to will take a few moments to join Let’s Go Zero 2030, the national campaign demanding government backing for zero carbon schools. Every school that signs up is pledging to work towards a more sustainable future, while also urging the government to support this vital mission. Our BEC Solar Schools have certainly made a good start by working with us to install solar PV systems that produce cleaner, greener solar electricity and reduce their CO2 emissions. Maybe they could join the 119 schools that have already joined the Let’s Go Zero 2030 campaign too!

“It’s time to prove that pupils, parents, teachers and governors are united in demanding change. By raising our voices together, we are showing the overwhelming support for zero carbon schools up and down the UK – and how they can be the spark for community action to tackle the climate crisis.”

Let’s go for ambition. Let’s go for working together. Let’s go zero. 

Sign your school up here!

In other good news…

You might be interested to hear the first episode of EWiRE’s ‘Women like me’ new Podcast Series. 

‘Women like me’ provides a glimpse into the lives of women from across the clean energy sector, celebrating their successes, as well as sharing their lessons. We hope these will inspire many of you to seize a new opportunity and support you to become your best self.  

The first session features Sonya Bedford MBE, partner, and head of renewable energy at Stephens Scown, trustee of Centre for Alternative Energy and director of Regen and five community energy groups! Find out more about her MSc, the beginnings of renewable energy and her role on multiple boards.

Click here to follow on Spotify or Click here to follow on Apple Podcasts  

“We want to see more women leading the clean energy industry through this period of extraordinary change and we invite you to join us and support our activities supporting and connecting women in the sector.  Speak to Rachel Hayes, head of networks and development and founder of EWiRE to find out more about the benefits of becoming a sponsor

Happy 2021 from the whole BEC team

Whatever 2021 holds in store Brighton Energy Co-op will continue to support the shift towards greener local energy production that moves us towards real energy security to ‘keep the lights on’. 

Thank you all so much for being part of this transition and for supporting our projects in so many valuable ways. We couldn’t do any of it without you, so we wish you all a wonderful 2021!

Sign up to our punchy newsletter to hear when we are recruiting new members to invest in solar energy for your local community and keep up to date on local renewables. 

Best wishes,
Brighton Energy Co-op

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