The Transition initiativein Lewes raised more than £350,000 in July to build their own community-owned solar power station, the first of its kind. The 98 kW solar array consists of 445 solar PV panels and was fitted to the top of a local brewery, Harvey’s. The money was raised in just two months by local residents and 250 shareholders and the power station is expected to cut £6,000 from the company’s annual electricity bill, producing power equivalent to 50 average residential rooftop installations.
Ovesco is the community-owned energy company from Lewes behind the project, which was headed by their sole employee, Chris Rowland.
They managed to finish the project in time to take advantage of government feed-in-tariffs for large solar projects which have now been cut to only apply to installations under 50W. Rowland says it would not have been possible to do without the feed-in-tariff.
Unfortunately, now even small-scale feed-in-tariffs are under threat, with likely reductions due to come in to force early next year. See if you are eligible for free solar panels today, before it is too late.