Bristol Energy Cooperative has raised £9 million funding for community projects since its launch in November last year, making it the UK’s largest generator of community energy.
The company, which began fundraising with Mongoose Energy in November 2015, signed agreements this week worth £3.95 million with Bristol City Council, Sustainable Capital and Triodos Bank to add 9.3MWp of community-owned solar generation capacity to the grid through a new solar array.
The new array, Lawrence Weston, will add to the company’s portfolio of a 4.6MWp operational ground array in Somerset and around 20 rooftop arrays on community buildings across Bristol.
Bristol Energy Cooperative co-director Andy O’Brien said: “With 9.3MWp of renewable capacity, BEC will become the UK’s largest generator of community energy. However, this is a fast-growing and essential part of the UK’s energy mix, so we can’t wait to be overtaken as more community owned capacity is added to the national grid.”
Social and Sustainable Capital cofounder Ben Rick added: “We are delighted to support BEC in becoming the UK’s largest generator of community energy. Following recent policy changes, we have been asked to consider investing in several renewable energy schemes through our Community Investment Fund.
All of Bristol Energy Cooperative’s projects could generate 8,830MWh per year and aim to be operational by June 2016 in order to receive the higher feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate for 20 years, following government cuts to subsidies.