Anesco has added to its community energy portfolio after announcing plans to work with Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) to boost community renewable energy in the region.

BEC is seeking to raise just over £5 million from members of the public to contribute towards a wider portfolio worth £10.5 million. The money will be used to help finance two community ground-mount solar farms and rooftop installations on around 20 community buildings in the Bristol.

This marks the eighth community energy initiative that Anesco has been involved with and makes it one of the first owner/operators in the UK to be involved in the development of such schemes.

Delvin Lane, commercial director for Anesco, said: “We’re delighted to be working with BEC. At Anesco we have a strong heritage that has been based on regeneration, supporting the local communities in which we operate and a commitment to helping tackle fuel poverty. Therefore, it was a natural step for us to become one of the first owner/operators in the UK to develop community-led renewables schemes.

“Projects of this nature have so much potential and fit strongly with our company aim of working closely with local communities on all levels.”

Chris Speller, director for Bristol Energy Cooperative, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Anesco on this project. Clean cheap energy is vital for us all as we move towards a more sustainable future.”

Community energy projects encourage members of the public to invest in buying a renewable power source for their local area. This allows the community to generate its own power and benefit from savings on energy costs and reducing carbon emissions. Investment in these projects has seen a substantial increase in recent months, with £7.8 million recorded in November 2015 alone