About Us

BEC sprang to life in 2010. After 18 months of planning 8 people invested seed funding;  this then led to our first share launch in 2012. During this period 120 people joined BEC, and we built our first solar PV systems.

Since then we have been mentored by many different organisations and achieved press coverage both nationally and locally.  More than 700 people are now BEC members; we’ve raised over £5,000,000 and built many big solar PV systems.

For a detailed look at how we got started check out this award-winning research project by Sussex University on BEC here or our 2010 business plan.

Will Cottrell

Chairman & Co-Founder:

Will Cottrell

Will has driven BEC forward from its inception. Overseeing both new project development and fund-raising for BEC, he has experience in the technical and financial aspects of renewable energy, as well as marketing and communications.

In 2014 he was awarded Community Energy Fundraiser of the Year; in 2015 he won the People’s Environmental Award’s prize for Energy and since then he’s been a mentor for many other community energy groups.

Previously Will started and ran a magazine in Barcelona, a yoga holiday company in Egypt, was an active anti-fracker; as  sideline he’s also an artist & delights in making esoteric music mixes.


Co-Founder & Secretary:

Damian Tow

Damian brings a sharp scrutiny to BEC’s board.

With emphasis on financial, legal and regulatory aspects of our organisation, he has 14 years’ experience as a project and programme manager at Cable & Wireless and BT and was also a director of a small software company.

He has Prince 2, MSP and APMP project management qualifications and has been working with Brighton Energy Co-op since August 2010.

Having originally read Business Studies at Hull University, Damian completed a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Forum for the Future in 2009.

Damian Tow
Matt Brown

New Project Developer:

Matt Brown

Matt joined BEC in 2013 as head of new project development. Since then he’s overseen lots of BEC’s new solar systems – indeed, Matt has been a project manager for many years across various technical businesses.

He helps BEC take a positive and pro-active approach to developing our renewable portfolio and gain a strong base of generation that will see the Co-op through the next 20 years.

He is committed to the concept of community energy and helping BEC’s members to continue the move towards greater community ownership of generation.

Director: Stuart Condie

Stuart is a West Sussex County Councillor and joined BEC’s Board at the end of 2019 having previously been chairman at Shoreham Port 2015-17.

His working life has mostly been in transport infrastructure, but he has also chaired two pension funds, and been a Non-Executive Director of Heathrow Express, a European airspace group, and airport companies in Australia.

His areas of expertise include finance, commercial contracts, and compliance issues. Stuart is an athletics coach, a UK/France dual national and has published his first novel, The Uganda Sails Wednesday.

Stuart Condie
Sue Paskins

Director: Sue Paskins

Sue is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and served as a Green Party Councillor in Brighton & Hove from 2003-7. She owned and ran a number of successful businesses and has worked in accountancy for various commercial organisations, culminating at First Leisure PLC (then one of the largest leisure organisations in the UK) where she was Group Management Accountant. 

More recently she – along with husband Mick – own and run a series of successful boutique hotels. Sue is a Director of Brighton & Hove Sheepshare and was on the Board of Brighton & Hove Food Partnership – who recently won the UK’s first Gold Sustainable Food Place award for the city – for many years.

Director: Peter Davies

Peter joined the BEC Board in April 2017 after retiring from Shoreham Port where he was the Development Director responsible for planning, property and the environment.

Previously, he was Head of Planning at Adur Council and before that he worked in various economic regeneration roles in the Midlands.

He is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Economic Development.

While at Shoreham Port Peter was instrumental in developing and delivering a green energy strategy, including the three solar arrays installed and owned by BEC.

Peter Davies

Communications & Community Fund Manager: Atlanta Cook

Atlanta joined the BEC team  in November 2020, to keep our Members and supporters up to date with our famously punchy newsletter, manage our web content, liaise with the press and engage with BEC’s Solar Schools to redevelop our Education Programme funded by our Community Fund. 

As a longtime eco educator, campaigner, event organiser and charity fund-raiser, she brings a wealth of knowledge to our table.

Her renewables experience comes from being a conference organiser for SUSTAIN – World Sustainable Energy Fair in Amsterdam back in the 90s. Atlanta is a Co-founding Trustee & Secretary of eco education charity Beacon Hub Brighton CIO, a Regional Rep for Surfers Against Sewage and runs her own marine environment consultancy.

Atlanta Cook

Associate Project Manager: David Owers

David joined the BEC team in June 2021 to assist our New Project Developer with getting larger projects into the BEC pipeline.  He has enjoyed careers as an energy engineer, entrepreneur and general manager in the medical devices industry before moving to Brighton in 2011.  Here he worked as a Directorate Manager at the main NHS hospital trust, before retiring in April 2021. He hopes to help BEC to build on its excellent record of successful renewable energy projects.

new project development assistant
Atlanta Cook

Non-domestic Energy Assessor/Solar Consultant: Svenja Czubayko

Svenja joined BEC as CSA Account Manager in December 2021, bringing her knowledge of working with businesses on carbon reduction and energy efficiency projects.

She is a qualified Retrofit Co-ordinator and a level 4 Non-Domestic Energy Assessor who has been involved in domestic and commercial building decarbonisation projects, helping to build more community-owned, clean energy generation whilst creating equity and resilience in local communities.

Brighton Energy Co-op  secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to offer grants of up to £25,000 off the cost of solar PV arrays, or solar PV plus electric vehicle charging points.  Svenja launched our Community Solar Accelerator offering these  grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) predominantly in the Coast to Capital region which will pay up to 40% of the total project cost.  See full details on our website here.