Guest Blog: Clean energy to make Bristol proud - our partners at Bristol City Council's Energy Service
During our recent fund-raising campaign we've demonstrated the power of collaboration in the transition to cleaner energy working with multiple partners to reach our £10m solar target.
One of these partners is Bristol City Council, whom we've worked with more recently to develop our Lawrence Weston solar farm. We asked James Sterling, Marketing and Communications lead for the council to share more about his role and involvement in our solar projects. Over to you James....
Our crowdfunding campaign is now closed. Read on to find out how these funds will help the community...
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, The Architecture Centre in Bristol, is a charity that champions better buildings and places, and encourages everyone to enjoy and learn about architecture and design. We'd love to install solar panels on this amazing community space in the heart of Bristol’s Harbourside - but we need your help to reach our crowdfunding target by 31 July.
We asked Christine, The Architecture Centre Manager, why she wanted to get involved with our solar fund-raise and how it will help them achieve their goals and 'walk the talk'...
Our share offer is now closed, but read on to find out how the funds raised helped to bring more clean energy to the community...
Our crowdfunding countdown is on to bring more clean energy to community buildings across Greater Bristol. An investment in our share offer (which ends 31 July) helps us to install solar panels on community roofs, and in turn, help those organisations save much-needed cash on their electricity bills.
We have already installed solar panels on Easton Community Centre, Brentry and Henbury Children's Centre. Just last month, we're happy to announce that Coniston Community Centre was added to this list.
We caught up with Emma Forsey, Community Centre manager to find out what this installation means to the centre and its users...
"We only take 1/5000th part of the energy that the sun sprays on the earth every day. 1/5000th part would provide all the energy requirements of humanity. And the fact that we haven't tapped it directly before is really extraordinary."
This summer solstice, we want to celebrate this power of the sun, and the clean, renewable energy it can give us. Communities across the UK are stepping up to David Attenborough's plea for more solar, by working together to create new ways of powering our villages, towns and cities.
And it's already happening. As the days get longer, solar eclipsed coal as a power source with solar generating 50% more electricity than coal across the month of May.
On this longest day of 2016, we want to shout out about the community energy sector (especially solar of course), on social media. We would like as many of us as possible to share photos of solar panels and why they love solar with the hashtag #SolsticeSolar.
People-powered energy is on the rise in the UK. The latest Cooperatives UK report shows the number of community energy coops have risen from 83 with 10,828 members to 224 with 16,880 in the last 4 years.
It's exciting for us to be part of this larger community of energy coops making a difference, and our numbers are growing here in the South West too. Today we catch-up with one of our recent bond offer investors, Nikki Jones, a freelance researcher / writer from Bristol to find out why she chose to invest in community energy and our latest fund-raise.
Our community of investors is growing rapidly. People from all walks of life are choosing to think about the impact of their investments and how they can do good with their money - both in terms of making a good financial return and helping the local community and the environment.
Today we get to know first-time investor, Eleanor, who chose to invest in our bond offer so she could save money for her children's future...
We're passionate about sharing the love for solar, and are always on the look out for new ways to get the community involved. So in typical Bristol fashion, this Valentine's we put on our dancing shoes to bring the sun out in Millennium Square, Bristol. Read on to watch the video and hear from the participants...
The dance offered Bristolians of all ages the opportunity to get together and contribute to the Bristol European Green Capital legacy by showing that everyone in the community can get involved to make the city healthier, happier and more sustainable. The energy of the participants shows just how much Bristol cares about the local community and wants to protect the planet for generations to come.
The idea for the sun dance came from Raquel, our Volunteer Co-ordinator. Raquel (pictured below) is a choreographer, who is passionate about using art to raise awareness about renewables.
"I had the idea to do the sun dance in Millennium Square because I really wanted a chance for people to get together to show their support for solar in a way that is upbeat and something that we can share with others.... I feel that a lot of the time when we talk about climate change it's very worthy so this was a bit more of a celebration of that renewable source that we can tap into when we come together."
The mass sun dance was designed to raise awareness about our ambitious solar projects include developing a solar farm in Lawrence Weston, financing an existing solar farm in Somerset and installing solar panels on around 20 community buildings across Bristol, including Wick Sports Centre. Matt from the sports centre came along to get involved. He told us, "I'm keen to support any projects that use renewable energy and at the football club we support the project."
If you're interested in getting involved with our fund-raise, find out more.
The sun dance was filmed by the fantastic Red Dog Productions.
We’re raising money to install solar panels on around 20 community buildings in Bristol including SOFA Project, Old Market.
We caught up with SOFA Project CEO Nicci Peck to find out why she wanted to get involved….
Why do people from the local area and throughout the UK invest in our solar bond? For the community benefits and £100,000 that will be available when we make our target? For a financial return on investment - 6% pa in our fixed 2 year bond offer? Or maybe to help reduce CO2 and play a part in combating climate change.
But you don't want to hear from us - let's find out from our new investors!