Category Archives: News

BES1 energy generation vs projection for 2013

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In 2013, Brixton Energy Solar 1 was projected to generate a total of 26,913kWh. In total it generated 32,586kWh (enough to power 10 average UK homes) which represents a yield (system efficiency) of 875kWh/kWp maintaining the same performance as its 1st year of operation. Our original solar generation model which was taken from PVGIS and underestimates the warmer months and overestimates the colder months. This learning will be used to project solar generation in future Brixton Energy and Repowering projects and feedback has also been given to the PVGIS community to improve their modelling tool. 

The export meter was installed in August 2013 and by the end of 2013, 7100kWh were exported to the grid, bringing additional £322 income. The export income estimated for 2014 is £1450 which will be a significant boost to BES1 income streams.

Brixton Energy Solar 3 Launch Party

We are celebrating the future of community owned renewable energy in Brixton!

  • Enjoy locally sourced food & refreshments
  • Hear from young interns helping with the installation
  • Learn how to make a solar panel
  • Eco-games


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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.

 

Electricity generation tweets from Brixton Energy Solar 1

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.

 

If you want more information you can also go to our solar log monitoring page which has detailed statistics for the last year.

Solar log montoring software

Solar log monitoring software

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

Luciana Berger Shadow Climate Change MP visits Brixton Energy

Fay Gordon, Cllr Imogen Walker, Cllr Lib Peck, Agamemnon Otero & Luciana Berger MP

Making our way through the light snow, a voice commented, “Will those solar panels actually work in this weather?” Climbing the stairs to the roof, the hum of the inverters assured us that, yes, come rain or shine, our solar panels continue to pump crystal clean renewable energy into the Loughborough Estate, generating money for the estate residents and cooperative investors.

Looking out over hundreds of solar panels on the roof of the building, Luciana Berger, Shadow climate change MP, remarked,

“It’s very interesting to see an innovative cooperative like Repowering South London delivering real change to communities.”

Inca Williams who enrolled in Repowering South London’s work experience programme spoke to Luciana – “Having completed the work experience, I now really want to tell others about the benefits of solar energy, and how and why harnessing natural energy sources such as sunlight to generate electricity is such a great way of reducing our carbon emissions and living more sustainably.”

Inca Williams paid work experience graduate on Brixton Energy Solar 2

Fay Gordon, Loughborough Estate resident and investor added, “This just makes sense. I learned about solar panels and wind turbines twenty years ago so I’ve always had an awareness for clean energy and the benefits it can bring. So it’s fantastic to see it happening on my doorstep, and to be able to be a part of it.”

In the biting cold, fuel poverty initiatives within the Community Energy Efficiency Fund are enabling residents to live more comfortably in warmer homes, save money and improve their wellbeing. This has impressed long time supporters Council Leader Lib Peck and Imogen Walker Lambeth, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability. With their continued belief in RSL, together with active volunteers and interested local community members, RSL hopes to establish more clean energy projects.

So stay tuned for news about our next solar energy project, work experience opportunities, and solar panel making workshops. They’re open to all.

Brixton Energy mentioned in Parliament

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.

Brixton Energy Solar 1 Energy Generated vs Predicted Energy Generation

We are now raising money for our second cooperative so it is the ideal time to look back and analyse the current performance of Brixton Energy Solar 1 (BES1). The graph below shows the estimated energy generation (for the period the project has been active) versus the actual energy generation (which can be viewed live online).

Energy Generated vs Predicted

Energy generated vs Predicted

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.

Brixton Energy has a roof!

Brixton Energy (the first active group of Repowering South London) has identified the roofs for its first project Brixton Solar 1. They plan to put several hundred square metres of solar panels on the top of buildings on the Loughborough Estate, working with Lambeth Council, the Low Carbon Zone, United Residents Housing and the Loughborough Estate Management Board.

And, essentially, the residents of Brixton whom we will be asking to invest in this local resilience project. A Community Share Offer will be made later this year and we plan to get the panels up and generating by the end of March!

If you would like to join the team working to make this happen contact Kees and join us at our weekly meetings on Monday nights, 7-9pm @ the Trinity Arms SW9 8DR.

If you’ve got it in the bank, put it on the roof!

If you would like to be an investor, generating around 3% per annum on your investment, please sign up here. It will be  the first opportunity for the people of Brixton to invest in a local Community Energy Efficiency Fund whilst still getting a useful return on their money.

This may be a first in London!

Brixton energy group founded

Exciting times! Things are moving fast with the Brixton Energy Group and we will be looking to constitute our group at our next general meeting on Monday the 5th of September. This will be at the TTB Shared Space open evening at the Loughborough Centre, corner of Angell Road and Barrington Road, SW9 7PD. 7-9pm refreshments available from 6pm.

The aim of the group is to:

  • Start generating renewable energy in Brixton
  • Develop opportunities for a community investment vehicle
  • Increase resilience by reducing dependence on big energy companies
  • Use retained profits to educate residents about energy efficiency
  • Tackle fuel poverty
  • Provide training and employment for local people

 

If you are interested in community owned energy and are keen to get involved the please come along to our next meeting. Contact Kees. You can have a look at our draft constitution here, or to find out more about the Brixton Energy Group you can have a look at on our Project Dirt page.

Agenda

  • Reception
  • Presentations and Vision
  • Review and agreement of the constitution followed by the election of committee members
  • Breakout into groups to learn more about specific parts of the Brixton Energy Group
  • Wrap up and celebration

 

Many thanks and look forward to see you all there in September!