Brighton Energy Co-operative is set to launch a share offer to raise up to £500,000 for its first solar energy scheme in Brighton & Hove. With plans to install a total of 120kW, the company hopes to offer local residents to opportunity to buy shares in Brighton Energy Co-operative, entitling them to a stake in the project.

From November 2, Brighton & Hove residents will be able to buy shares in the project. The money raised will be used to fund the purchase and installation of three solar arrays on the roofs of Shoreham Port, St Georges Church (Kemptown) and City Coast Church (Portslade).

Brighton Energy Co-operative is also in discussions with owners of other sites for additional arrays.

The Co-operative will receive an income from the electricity generated from feed-in tariff payments, which will be used to pay 4% annual interest to investors and fund further green community projects.

Launching the scheme, Brighton Energy Co-operative will host several events including talks by solar pioneer Jeremy Leggett and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, and a screening of the film Gasland.

BrightonEnergy Co-operative’s Chairman Will Cottrell said, “We are delighted to be able to bring this offer to Brighton & Hove residents. It’s a great opportunity for local people to get involved in and own a renewable energy scheme in the city. By supporting the generation of clean energy, they are helping Brighton & Hove reduce its reliance on polluting fossil fuels, lower its carbon dioxide emissions and become one of the country’s greenest cities.”

Leggett said, “Community energy is a big idea. It’s also rapidly growing nationwide. These schemes have many benefits – they're a a win-win for the communities that create them.”

Interested parties can make a pledge to buy shares before the launch on the BEC website:

Jeremy Leggett is also speaking at the upcoming Solar Power UK Conference on October 26.