Last Monday the first Annual General Meeting of Brixton Energy Solar 2 took place at the Loughborough Centre, Brixton. Thanks to everybody who attended. For those of you who couldn’t make it we recorded Agamemnon Otero giving the director’s report.
Afsheen Rashid, Community Energy Project Officer, Lambeth Council welcome the enthusiastic crowd and Agamemnon Otero, Co-founder & Director of Repowering talked about Repowering’s vision and future plans.
Brigid Clarke, Jason Neylon, Andre Pinho, the Directors of Brixton Energy Solar 3, shared their experience of becoming Directors, talk about resident engagement, better financial investment and the special share offer for residents.
Mary Simpson, Chair of Roupell Park Resident Management Committee spoked on behalf of the residents. The highlight of the night was listening to the experiences of the young people of Roupell Park Estate – Isha, Kamel and Nadeane who have been interns on the project.
Best of all Nadeane and Isha made a delicious solar panel cake especially for the night!
Brixton Energy Solar 3 is a Co-operative set up to invest in renewable energy generation in Brixton, raise money to tackle fuel poverty, and help create training and work experience opportunities for young people on the Roupell Park Estate. The event will take place at the Electric Social, 40 Acre Lane, London, Brixton SW2 5SP on Tuesday 9th July 7pm – 10pm.
Shares are still open and if you are interested in investing in this exciting project you can find out more here.
Last Saturday the first Annual General Meeting of Brixton Energy Solar 1 took place at the Loughborough Centre, Brixton. Thanks to everybody who attended. For those of you who couldn’t make it we recorded Will Anderson giving the director’s report.
If you’re a Twitter user you can now keep tabs on how much electricity our first project Brixton Energy Solar 1 (on Elmore House in Loughborough Junction) is generating. We have setup a new automated twitter account @BES_Generation that tweets when electricity generation for the day exceeds 20, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250kWh.
In winter you should get one or two tweets a day, increasing to up to four or five tweets as the sun comes out. Last year we had one day where generation exceed to 250kWh and hopefully we will have more similar days this year.
Clear skies in Brixton! Brixton Energy Solar 1 has generated 108.447kWh of electricity so far. #solar#brixton
If you want more information you can also go to our solar log monitoring page which has detailed statistics for the last year.
We hope to roll out similar services for our future projects so that investors and other interested parties can see how well solar power is working in Brixton. For regular news and updates you can follow our main Twitter account @brixtonenergy
We were very happy to see Steve Reed (former leader of Lambeth council and newly elected MP for Croydon North) mentioning Brixton Energy in the House of Commons this week during the debate on the energy bill.
Skip ahead to 18:24 to watch Steve’s speech
Here is the full text of Steve’s speech:
This Bill misses an opportunity to support community energy cooperatives, and worse contains measures that will make them harder to establish.
Brixton Solar Energy 1 was the country’s first urban energy generation cooperative. It was set up by the community in Brixton working in cooperation with Lambeth Council – which I was leading until earlier this month.
Solar power generation is not feasible on the majority of houses because they face the wrong way, suffer from shading from chimneys or other structures, or are too small. Collective schemes like Brixton Solar Energy are far better. To work, they require partnership working. Solar panels are more likely to be financially viable when they are built on social housing blocks, schools or other public buildings, churches or businesses which have larger roof space facing the sun.
Brixton Solar 1 was built on the roof of a social housing block on the Loughborough Park Estate in Brixton. Brixton Solar 2 is being built now on another part of the same housing estate. A third scheme is planned for another estate in the area. The schemes are funded by community subscription and offer a 3% return to investors, most of whom are local. They are also part-resourced by the local authority which makes the buildings available.
These projects tackle fuel poverty by offering lower energy prices to residents who benefit from the feed-in tariff. They reduce carbon emissions by generating energy sustainably, and some of the profits generated are invested in schemes like draught busting, retrofitting buildings, home energy audits and training on energy efficiency. In addition, they build social capital, bring communities together, and keep profits circulating in the local community in a way that does not happen with the big energy companies.
Instead of supporting schemes like this, the Bill offers smaller community generators lower market prices for their power, making them less financially viable and failing to recognise the administration costs needed to run them. It also ends the Renewables Obligation meaning that suppliers have no incentive to purchase from independent generators like Brixton Solar Energy.
The Bill should be amended to increase the fixed feed-in tariff threshold for community projects; guarantee a market for community energy schemes; and set a minimum annual target for new generation capacity from community schemes. I’d also like to see local authorities incentivised to lower overall household carbon emissions in their area which they could do, in part, by supporting projects like Brixton Solar Energy.
The Government should recognise the benefits of cooperative energy generation projects in tackling fuel poverty and promoting sustainability, but instead of acting to help them this Bill will help kill them off.
We are delighted to announce that Brixton Energy Solar 2 has been successful in its application for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). This means that if you are a UK taxpayer you will be able to claim back 50% of your investment as a tax deduction in year one!!
Our focus has always been on the social and environmental benefits of our projects, but it is great to able to offer our co-operative members such a good return on their investment.
Since the panels were connected to the grid on 23rd April until the 12th September, BES1 has generated 19,414 kWh (enough to boil 129,427 kettles or power 5.6 UK homes for a year). On average BES1 has exceeded its energy generation by 28% this Summer. It hasn’t even been that sunny has it!?
This year we have already achieved 70% of the estimated annual energy generation without even having generated anything during the first 3 months of the year!
Our conservative estimates put us in a great position to be confident that BES2 will be just as successful as BES1.
One of the main aims of Brixton Energy is to develop in the community the skills we will need to make a cleaner, better future. Kevin, a Loughborough Estate resident, got involved in the project and helped Southern Solar when they installed the solar panels on the roof of Elmore House. Here is his story:
It seems the Gods of clean energy were shining on us that week.
Imagine been on the roof of a tall block of flats, the sun shining, with a great view of London, breathtaking is what I call it.
It was a very rewarding experience, working with a great bunch of guys (Big up Matt and the boys from Southern Solar).
Do something you enjoy doing and you won’t have to work a day in your life, says the old Chinese proverb and that’s what it seemed like to me. Although we were actually installing the solar panels for me it was just having fun. The hard graft was inconsequential. It was more like a solar farm, planting solar seeds and watching them come to fruition within a week.
Brixton Energy Solar1 team members visiting, seeing how the installation was progressing.
Residents enquiring, what was going on, on the roof of their block?
Installers and Brixton Energy team members explaining the concept and rewards of solar power.
Damn! It felt good! Was buzzing for a week! No kidding.
With me living on the estate, it couldn’t have been a better job for me! Walking 100 meters to work! Going home for lunch! How’s that for a Job! I even manage to walk over to my place and let some workmen in.(there were no sorry we miss me note that time).
Then came launching day and the hoopla, I mean media circus and all, newspapers, TV stations, Radio stations, Budding journalists……the interviews the cameras, the spotlight…. Makes me think “We could be on to something here”.
Massiverespect the entire Brixton Energy team, including to Agamemnon & to Kevin who did these ITV interviews!