Bristol Energy Co-operative to Launch Community Share Offer
Bristol Energy Co-operative to launch community share issue
The group behind a solar energy scheme in Bristol is aiming to raise £90,000 by launching a community share issue later this week.
The not-for-profit Bristol Energy Co-operative is aiming to realise its plans of installing solar panels on community buildings in the city.
With the support of The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, the scheme is calculated to generate 700,000kWh of energy and save 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 25-year lifetime.
It also aims to return up to 4% a year to investors while delivering wider social benefits including developing a local renewables infrastructure and supporting the growth of a green energy economy in the area.
The newly formed co-operative hopes to attract hundreds of members investing as little as £50, and will initially concentrate on two sites, Hamilton House and Knowle West Media Centre.
Mark Corbin of Bristol Energy Cooperative said: “When a number of community groups across the city were looking at forming energy co-operatives we pooled our skills and resource, and this is the result – an ambitious scheme that opens the benefits of green energy to all and will leave a lasting legacy for the next generation.
“The first phase will see the installation of approaching 200 solar panels on to roofs of community buildings in the Bristol area. In addition to making a return to investors, the project will deliver wider social benefits with energy cost savings supporting the work of community organisations and surplus money supporting other community groups with green energy projects in the area.”
The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest member-owned organisation with seven million members, has committed a further £6m – between 2012-14 – to The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which has supported the creation and growth of more than 700 member-owned enterprises since it launched in 2009.
Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “The co-operative business model is a robust approach to enterprise that is revitalising local communities and helping to address some of the unprecedented challenges facing society, environment and the economy.
“We believe that our support and encouragement for member-owned renewable energy projects can create sustainable community co-operatives that can control, generate and benefit from their own renewable energy.
“In addition, community-led projects such as this can contribute to a step-change in people’s thinking about energy and, by inspiring others to take action, be a catalyst for a clean energy revolution across the UK.”
The share offer closes on May 18. For more information about investing in the Bristol Energy Co-operative and to download a copy of the prospectus visit www.bristolenergy.coop.