Brighton Energy Coop creates solar-powered yachts

The Brighton Energy Cooperative (BEC) has commissioned its first major project, an 87kWp solar array at Shoreham Port near Brighton. The Coop was able to raise more than £200,000 from the local community in order to fund the install and has enough capital left over to install a further 40kWp of solar across other local sites.

The Shoreham project consists of five buildings at Hove Enterprise Centre that will generate around 80,000kWh of clean electricity every year. The power generated will be fed into the local Enterprise Centre and a nearby supply for yacht charging points and the port’s water pumps.    

The 366 Canadian Solar modules were installed by Kent-based installer NRG Renewables with the equipment provided by German distributor Colexon Energy.

Will Cottrell of BEC said: “It's fantastic to see community renewables in Brighton take off; the people of Brighton and Hove now own the biggest solar array in Sussex. This is the first of many projects and going forward we welcome discussion with any building owners looking to save money on their energy bills.”

Mick Harrington of NRG Renewables:  “We are pleased to have installed such a system with Brighton Energy Coop and to have further expanded our portfolio of large scale installations. The installation was very smooth thanks to excellent support from all involved at Brighton Energy Cooperative and the Shoreham Port Authority. NRG are glad to have been a part of this pioneering scheme for community Energy in Brighton and Hove.”

Andreas von Schoenberg of Colexon Energy comments: “We are delighted to have been able to work on this important project with Brighton Energy Coop and NRG. Cooperative energy schemes like the one at Shoreham play an important role in bringing renewable energy to cities, where not everyone has the space or resources for their own PV. And they give people a personal stake in decarbonising the economy as well as a good return on their investment.”