Ten solar installations, one-hundred shareholders, and 403kW of solar capacity.
Dorset Community Energy was formed in 2013 and has now installed ten community owned photovoltaic installations: across community buildings and schools in Dorset. Dorset Community Energy is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society which facilitates community ownership of renewable energy production.
Including the four sites being installed in August 2016, total capacity will be 403kW. These schools and community buildings will all benefit from free or reduced cost electricity.
These installations are funded with £490,000 raised from mainly local shareholder members, who will receive a target 5%-6% interest per annum on their investment and capital returned in instalments between years 4 and 20.
Monitoring the electricity generated
Dorset Community Energy has been piloting state of the art monitoring systems. With help from Alison Jay, Eco Schools Officer for Dorset County Council, Dorset Community Energy has successfully secured funding from the Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset project, to purchase 10 wall-mounted smart displays. These will be placed in the entrance foyers of each school, so that pupils, staff and visitors can learn about the energy being generated by their school. Educational kits have also been purchased for primary school pupils.
Members of Dorset Community Energy with an interest in sustainable energy education recently met with Alison Jay, Dorset County Council Eco Schools Office, Max Bishop, Dorset County Council School's Energy Officer and Pete West Dorset Community Energy Secretary. The purpose of the meeting was to agree a way forward on how to develop educational resources that link the data on energy generated with the curriculum.