Brighton Energy Co-operative is set to a launch a pioneering project that will see local residents invest in a community-owned solar array. The array will provide the local community with locally-generated green power and help fund projects designed to allow members of the community to reduce their energy bills.  

The Brighton Energy Co-operative will launch its share offering on 16 May in an attempt to raise the £200,000 required to install the city’s first ever community-owned solar energy project.

Local investors will be able to buy shares in the community scheme, entitling them to a stake in the project. The money raised by the share issue will be used to fund the purchase and installation of solar arrays on roofs owned by Shoreham Port, St Georges Church (Kemptown) and City Coast Church (Portslade). In return for lending their roof space, they will receive free electricity for 25 years.

The community-owned scheme plans to install a total of 120kW over the two sites, enough to generate clean electricity to power 40 homes.

Brighton Energy Co-operative will use the income generated by the feed-in tariff to pay annual interest to investors and fund community projects, such as insulating homes to make them more energy efficient.

Brighton Energy 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.”

Those interested in investing and supporting Brighton Energy Co-operative are invited to a share launch event at 7.45pm on May 16 at Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton. Green MP Caroline Lucas and newly-elected leader of the council, Jason Kitcat will be in attendance, along with the Brighton Energy Co-operative team, who will explain how the share offer works and answer any questions.

The launch offer will run from May 16 to June 14.