Community-owned 2MW solar array for Avonmouth

A group supported by CSE sees their vision become a reality

13 June 2014

In 2011-12, we offered our support and expertise to 20 local energy groups who got funding from the Government's Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF). This fund gave grants to communities to enable them to investigate potential local energy projects. We're pleased to report that one of these groups has now had its plan for a community-owned 1.8MW solar array at Avonmouth approved, and is launching its first community share offer.

Low Carbon Gordano started developing their plan three years ago. The agreed solar array will contain 8,000 solar PV panels covering around 15 acres of land at Moorhouse Farm, sandwiched between the M5 and M49 motorways. "We are really excited to be involved in this scheme which, when built, will generate enough clean energy to power 500 homes, as well as benefitting local wildlife," says Jon Gething from Low Carbon Gordano.

"The project will generate income from the feed-in tariff and from the sale of electricity," he explains. "We are a Community Benefit Society, so not only will we give a fair return to our investors but surplus profits will be channeled in to a community fund. Local organisations will be able to apply for grants from this fund for all kinds of projects that can demonstrate reductions in energy use or carbon emissions."

We are really proud of what this group has achieved. They aim to raise around £2 million to fully develop the project, financed by selling shares. The first Community Share Issue will be launched at the Folk Hall in Portishead on Wednesday 18 June. See the website here for all the details.

To see what support we can currently offer to community energy projects, have a look at our communities section.

Stay up to date with our work - sign up for our fortnightly newsletter