Earlier this month, Solar Power Portal revealed the shortlists for this year’s Solar Power Portal and Clean Energy Awards, sponsored by Trina Solar.

More than 60 projects have been shortlisted across 12 categories ahead of what promises to be a glittering occasion at Birmingham NEC’s Hilton Metropole, hosted by stand up comedian Jimmy Carr.

In the latest article of a series of shortlist spotlight features, here are the nominees for 2016’s Community Benefit Project of the year.

  • WPD – Sola Bristol community energy storage project 
  • Green Fox – Hinckley Academy 
  • Conergy UK – Thorne Solar Park 
  • OggaDoon – Bristol Energy Cooperative

Bristol Energy Cooperative has raised more than £9 million since November last year with the intention of bringing more community-owned solar energy to Bristol and Somerset. As a result, it has financed solar projects including rooftop installs on eight community buildings, the purchase of a 4.6MWp solar farm near Puriton and the development of a 4.2MW solar farm near Avonmouth.

The income generated from Bristol Energy Cooperative’s current projects will be channelled into a community fund, available for local groups to apply for, over the 25 years of the projects. Through BEC’s Lawrence Weston Community Solar Farm, £150,000 is being paid to Ambition Lawrence Weston, a neighbourhood regeneration initiative, to help them employ paid interns, and provide a range of activities including employment advice and youth work.

Bristol Energy Cooperative has been working with volunteers to provide opportunities for our members, supporters, and the local community to find out more about solar energy, fuel poverty reduction, and sustainability. This has been through stalls at community festivals and careers days, and through Transition Lab, a series of free monthly talks about community energy and sustainable living.

The winner of this year’s Community Benefit Project award will be announced at the awards ceremony on 5 October. Tickets are now available and can be purchased online here, or by contacting [email protected].