Basingtone UK’s First Community Energy Scheme to Reinvest Solar Benefits Back in The Community
It’s solar, so good!
2:20pm Friday 2nd March 2012 By Simon Moss
From left: Cathy Williams, Andy Molloy and Martin Heath at Brookvale Village Hall
BASINGSTOKE’S first community energy scheme has been given the green light – and it could pump as much as £4,000-a-year into a town suburb.
Brookvale Community Association (BCA) has won planning permission to install 40 solar panels on the roof of Brookvale Village Hall, in Lower Brook Street.
Cash received from electricity that will be generated by the panels will be used by the association to benefit the community.
The panels will be installed this week and the hall will start producing its own electricity from tomorrow.
Martin Heath, a Brookvale resident and member of the Basingstoke Transition Network, a group seeking to make the town less reliant on fossil fuels, said: “This will give the community an annual funding stream for the next 25 years – which is brilliant.”
Mr Heath, of Millennium Court, said a number of grants had been received by green energy companies to help pay for the panels.
He added: “The money will be fed straight back into the community association, allowing it to do things for the benefit of the community. But, of course, there is the bigger picture in terms for the reduction in carbon emissions, so it really is a win-win situation.”
The proposals have also won the backing of environment chiefs at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Councillor Elaine Still, Cabinet member for the environment, said: “I absolutely support the group. I think it is amazing what they have been able to achieve.
The village hall was built in 1993, extended in 1987 and renovated in 1999. It is leased to the BCA, which is a registered charity. The panels will cover an area of 65 square metres and should generate 9,400kwh of electricity per year as well as reducing carbon emissions by five tons annually.
“This is the right way to go for many community buildings across the borough, and I will give my backing to any group that asks for help, as I have done in the past, to set these sorts of schemes up.”