On Tuesday night, we held a fundraising event to raise awareness for Brixton’s second innovative urban community-owned solar energy project, Brixton Solar Energy 2. The event brought together local people, Councillors, investors and installers, all united by a shared belief in the need for community-owned clean energy generation.
The UK’s first inner city community-owned solar energy project on social housing, Brixton Energy Solar 1, has exceeded predicted energy generation by over a quarter. Speaking at the event, Afsheen Kabir Rashid, Lambeth Community Energy Officer, discussed the success of Brixton’s first solar project, and encouraged investors to become a part of Brixton Solar Energy 2, which has already attracted over £32,000 and is looking to raise a further £29,000 by October 23rd.
Other speakers gave some of their time to explain why they’re supporting Brixton Energy – Lib Peck, Lambeth Councillor for Regeneration and Strategic Housing, highlighted how recent hikes in fuel prices and impending changes to welfare reforms could push even more local people into fuel poverty. “This underscores the need for local clean energy production and investment in ground-breaking projects like Brixton Energy Solar 2 that can lead to job creation and a more resilient local community,” she said.
Matt Man from Southern Solar commented, “I can’t actually believe we’re installing the second project already, but we are!” He highlighted the need for more people to have a better awareness of the resources they use in their daily lives and to adopt more energy efficient behaviour.
The visionary co-founder and project manager of Brixton Energy, Agamemnon Otero, told the audience how one local 17 year old student put her electrical engineering skills to the test by helping with the installation of Brixton Energy Solar 2’s solar panels this week on Styles Gardens’ roof, Loughborough Estate. Involving local residents wherever possible is an important goal for the project and it is hoped that more local people will get involved. Certainly, as word spreads about the success of the first solar project, he’s noticed more people asking questions about how they can get involved in the second project, and seeking information on clean energy and how it could benefit them.
Loughborough Estate resident and investor Mrs Fay Gordon highlighted the need for apprenticeships to help address unemployment among young local residents. She believes in the importance of “never giving up – and trying something new” and sees this sense of hope and entrepreneurialism reflected in the Brixton Energy solar projects. With friends suffering from health issues caused by air pollution from living near busy roads, she also appreciates the need for emission free energy generation.
Tuesday night’s event was a celebration of Brixton Energy, a Repowering South London project, and its successes to date. It was also an opportunity to reiterate that this community project is proving a success thanks to the time and dedication of a handful of local people. As the event demonstrated, that handful has grown to a roomful, and now with momentum building following the success of the first solar project, there’s never been a better time to invest in a project that gives you a guaranteed rate of return over the next twenty years, and brings tangible benefits to the local community.
If you are interested in investing you can apply for shares now using our online form.
(Thanks to Tim Mitchell for the great photos).