Country: United Kingdom
Involved Regions: Brixton
Capacity in in Megawatts (MW): 50
Involved RES Sectors: Solar
Since 2012, the group has led the establishment of three community solar energy projects in the area, generating renewable energy and bringing financial revenues into the local neighbourhoods where they are sited.Each project is a registered cooperative that is wholly owned by its shareholders, who were able to buy shares from £250 to be part of the collective ownership. The sale of these shares helped to finance the installation of each solar scheme.
Brixton Solar 1 was completed in March 2012, installing several hundred square metres of solar panels on the roof of Elmore House at Brixton’s Loughborough Estate, giving a total generating capacity of 37kW. This project attracted 103 investors, almost half of whom came from within the Brixton area, raising £60,000 in three weeks. Brixton Solar 2 follows in October 2013, located on the five housing blocks of Styles Gardens at Loughborough Estate. Finally, Brixton Solar 3 is a 50kW scheme that was recently installed on four buildings within the Roupell Park Estate.
From all these projects, electricity generated is first sold to users within the buildings, and the excess is sold on to the National Grid. To date, the two projects have generated over 50,000kWh of energy. Alongside energy generation, as with many other community energy projects the Brixton schemes provide financial revenues to the local community. Investors in each scheme receive interest of around 3% their investment, whilst 20% of the profits are returned to the Community Energy Efficiency Fund and spent on a variety of local initiatives focused on energy-saving in the local area.
- Three rooftop solar schemes in Brixton, London
- Led, owned and funded by Brixton Energy, a co-operative social enterprise
- The first solar project in particular drew on policy enthusiasm and support for local energy projects
- Changes to Feed-in Tariffs will restrict the feasibility of future schemes
- The group was inspired by the burgeoning niche culture of community energy elsewhere in the UK
- The nature of the local community meant that many residents were initially sceptical of the project. This meant that a very proactive and participatory process of local engagement was necessary,as well as shaping the project outcomes.