If you are a community organisation or community of residents who wants the benefits of solar PV for your building, we can work together to do it. We can also help you source advice & help on energy efficiency
Our first roofs
The first phase of our project will be installing solar PV panels on large community roofs, providing them with free/subsidised green energy and obtaining a return on members' investments from the Feed in Tariff (FIT), a subsidy for renewable energy.
Estimated Annual Energy: 14,145kWh
In December we partnered with installer Ethical Solar to install 20kW of solar PV on the roof of Hamilton House in Stokes Croft, a vibrant community hub ‘where art, music, enterprise and innovation cluster as a community rising to the challenges of today and tomorrow’.
Ethical Solar financed the installation and have given us the option of buying the panels, and therefore the generation tariff income, from them.
The system consists of 85 x 230Watt Innotech panels and two 3 phase inverters. The total system size is 19.55kW.
It was installed by Ethical Solar
Knowle West Media Centre
Estimated Annual Energy: 20,570kWh
Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) is based in South Bristol and supports individuals and communities to get the most out of digital technologies, music, media and the arts. A 25kW solar PV array was installed in July. This site is also participating in a battery storage and DC system trial with Western Power Distribution.
The system consists of 104 x 240Watt Innotech panels and one inverter. The total system size is 24.96kW.
It was installed by Ecocetera
Easton Community Centre
Estimated Annual Energy: 13,752kW
The Easton Energy Group carried out an energy efficiency survey for the Easton Community Centre a few years ago, so we were really pleased to be invited to work with them to install solar PV on the roof of the community centre. The Community Centre hosts a range of activities for the local community, including dance, yoga and singing, foodcycle community meals, In the Mix cafe, the Asian Day Centre, Single Parents Action Network.
The system consists of 72 x 250Watt Suntech panels and three inverters. The total system size is 18kW
It was installed by 1 World Solar
If you know of a roof that may be suitable and may want our support getting solar PV installed, please get in touch.
How it works
The PV systems will be owned and maintained by the Cooperative for a period of 20 years, and energy generated by the panels will be available for the buildings to use, potentially for a service charge. After that point, ownership of the panels will pass to the building, who will own the panels installed and will be able to continue benefiting from the free energy. We also encourage roof owners and the communities they serve to buy shares themselves and get involved in Bristol Energy Cooperative, receiving the financial benefit as well.
If you’re wondering if your building might be suitable, you can do a quick self-assessment survey which you send back to us, and we’ll taker things from there.
Download the self-assessment survey
Download the guidance notes for the survey
Roof Owner FAQS
Download our Roof Owner FAQs as pdf
What are you offering roof owners?
- heavily subsidised green electricity from the PV on the roof, reducing electricity bills
- the opportunity to become a member of the cooperative by buying shares in the co-operative and receiving a share of the ‘generation tariff’ part of the FIT subsidy.
Why should I rent my roof to you rather than buying my own solar PV system?
If you choose to rent your roof to us, you will get a free PV installation without having to raise the capital for this yourself, and without the hassle of obtaining quotes and organising the roof survey and installation. You will save money on the electricity generated by the system and have the opportunity to be a participant in the growth of Bristol Energy Co-operative. However, if you are ready to install your own solar PV system on your roof, and have the capital to invest in it, you will make a higher financial return by doing this and making use of the feed-in tariff yourselves. If you choose participate in the Bristol Energy Co-operative your financial return would be lower but by doing so you would be supporting a social enterprise contributing to sustainable energy in Bristol. Any surplus generated by the co-operative will be reinvested in future energy projects. There is also the option for your organisation to invest in the cooperative and become a member, thus receiving a share of the FIT income.
What happens if I sell the property?
The lease you will sign with the Bristol Energy Co-operative is a 20 year lease for use of your roof, but you do have an opt-out which gives the roof owner a right to buy the system at a defined price. If you want to sell your property, you have the choice to sell it with the lease still in place, meaning that the new owner would enjoy the benefits of the same deal. Alternatively, the opt-out means that the solar panels can effectively be sold as a part of the property. Our legal structure requires us to sell any assets for a full market consideration; and any profits that the Co-operative makes will be reinvested to meet our social and community objectives.
Will the property be more difficult to sell because of the contract with Bristol Energy Co-operative?
We cannot predict what the future market for your property will be like, but the PV installation on the roof should increase the value of the property due to the lower electricity bill. Roof lease contracts of the sort we are proposing are becoming increasingly common.
The lease is for 25 years – what happens after that?
After 25 years the panels become the property of the roof owner. At this point we expect the system to still be fully functional and producing power. There will be some reduction in efficiency of the solar panels as they get older – but they are expected to still be producing at 85% of their original output.
What happens if the Co-operative is wound up or bought out?
Should the members of the co-operative decide to sell the activities of the society or to wind up the society, the assets must be sold for full market consideration and the residual assets must be transferred to another similar society with similar aims and an asset lock. This asset lock ensures that the assets of the Co-operative will be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the community.
Who maintains the panels?
The system will need very little maintenance. There will be a yearly inspection at which point some basic maintenance may be carried by our maintenance contractor.
What happens if the panels break down?
The cooperative will have off site monitoring facilities, and if there are any issues with the panels or the inverters, the cooperative will deal with the problem. You are likely to be the first to notice problems and we will work with you on monitoring their performance ongoing.
Will I have to make alterations to my electrics or wiring if I rent my roof to you?
For some larger installations we may have to arrange for a better connection between your property and the National Grid to handle the energy input. This is a complex technical process which will be carried out in partnership with your energy supplier and will generally not affect your property’s interior.