Gen Community is hoping to raise enough money to install solar panels on 25 schools across Staffordshire with its Staffordshire Sunny Schools community offer.
The group is aiming to raise £880,000 through a community share issue, allowing local investors to achieve a financial return on the project. The group will be accepting investment amounts from £500 to £150,000.
The solar installs will be completely funded by the community share, allowing them to be installed for free at each school. In return, the schools will benefit from unlimited use of electrcity generated from the solar installation.
In addition, Staffordshire Sunny Schools hopes to teach the schools’ 15,000 students about energy generation and the importance of conserving energy.
Local MP for Stafford, Jeremy Lefroy, welcomed the launch of the community fund stating: “I am very pleased to be able to welcome this project to Stafford. Students will benefit, as their schools should be able to invest in other areas rather than on their electricity bills. Local residents will benefit, not just as council tax payers but with the opportunity to invest and we all benefit with the advantages this whole project has for the environment.”
The community share will also setup a community fund from any surplus revenues which will be used to support fuel poor pupils attending the schools, local charities and community groups.
The government recently launched its Community Energy Strategy which is designed to help promote schemes such as the Staffordshire Sunny Schools. The government hopes that the new strategy will help one million homes benefit from community-generated energy by 2020.