We’re backing a £60m solar community project that will benefit local communities. A new partnership between British Gas Solar, Generation Community and Social Finance will bring solar installations to public buildings across the UK.
British Gas Solar will team up with the two social enterprises to provide solar panels for local government sites such as schools and town halls.
This community solar partnership targets projects that reinvest energy income back into the local community. We should see up to 8,000 rooftop solar panels fitted.
Social Finance will raise £60m of loan capital to fund the project. These investors can expect to secure attractive returns, partly thanks to the government’s Feed-In Tariffs scheme for renewable energy projects.
Members of the local communities will also be able to invest in the solar projects by purchasing shares.
Generation Community will oversee the schemes, working alongside local authorities and engaging with community organisations. While British Gas Solar will carry out the installation and be responsible for operating and maintaining the systems.
Mike Chessum, Head of Energy Construction Services at British Gas, said ‘Our partnership with Gen Community signals a breakthrough in the delivery of community energy across the UK’.
‘We are proud to be the first commercial energy partner working alongside social enterprises that will provide new ways of delivering power to communities.’
The solar panels will save up to 40% on electricity bills for up to 8,000 rooftop sites. Income from the Feed-In Tariffs scheme will be invested back into local social enterprises and education services targeting fuel poverty. In this way, we hope to bring the financial benefits back into the communities.
The three organisations are now reaching out to local authorities and schools to discuss potential sites for new solar installations.
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