A 100 percent community-owned solar project went live on Friday on the roof of an inner city estate. Brixton Energy Solar 1, which is the UK’s first inner city solar power project, was funded by a community share issue.
Installed on the rooftop of the Loughborough Estate in Brixton, the 37kWp project was delivered by Southern Solar on behalf of Repowering South London.
The system is able to reduce the estate’s carbon footprint as well as generating an income through the feed-in tariff incentive, which provides local investors with a share of the profits. Investors will be guaranteed an annual return of up to three percent through the feed-in tariff scheme.
Any remaining money generated will go towards reducing the carbon footprint of Brixton through a Community Energy Efficiency Fund. The Energy Fund will support energy-saving improvements, education and re-skilling in the Brixton area.
Founding Member and Director of Brixton Energy, Agamemnon Otero, said: “It’s great to see the ‘Solar 1’ project go live, following so much local support; we’re hoping it will be a template and pioneering community project to inspire other urban initiatives across the capital. We want ‘Solar 1’ to help people recognise how beneficial owning their own energy can be.”
Howard Johns, Managing Director and Founder of Southern Solar, commented: “Giving communities the chance to invest in renewable energy helps to reduce energy bills, protects against rising energy prices, generates a return on investment, as well as protecting the environment and solar PV is one of the easiest ways of making this change.”
Brixton Energy Group volunteers involved in the project come from a range of backgrounds and all give up their time for free.
“This is a true community project that has been made possible through co-operation, hard work and dedication. We want to make Brixton Energy a shining example of inner city community resilience for the next 25 years,” Otero continued.
“With our commitment to generating and maintaining a Community Energy Efficiency Fund from a portion of the annual revenue, we are enabling practical application and a hands on re-skilling and energy efficiency education which is an essential component to long term change.”
The Brixton Energy Co-Op is part of Repowering South London who have a further ten projects in the pipeline. Repowering South London’s values are aligned with those of the Transition Town’s movement – a community-based with a practical approach to preparing for a low-carbon future.