Brighton Energy Co-op: “Community, Green and Power”

The CISE team is working with the Brighton Energy Co-op (BEC). Over the next few months we will join their team meetings and talk with them about their journey to learn more about the cooperative. We will share some of our experiences on this blog – so watch this space.

BEC aims to develop the renewable capacity of Brighton and Hove whilst trying to channel benefits back to the local community. Their vision is to facilitate community-owned solar power by raising money through selling shares in the co-op. The revenues generated from the renewable energy are then split to a) finance and run low-carbon communities projects focused on encouraging the uptake of energy efficiency measures and raising awareness about climate change, b) run BEC and c) provide a return to members.

Over the last year the directors of BEC, Will, Danni and Damian, have developed a business plan and financial model for the cooperative, set themselves up as a legal entity, raised early stage investment for the development phase of the project, gained free legal advice to draft out contracts and identified seven sites where they can install solar panels. They are currently in the process of developing their marketing plan to gain shareholders, finalising their share invitation and discussing legal agreements with the potential sites. They are planning to launch their share offer to raise £1M in Spring 2011.

Read more about how Brighton Energy Co-op was started up by Will in our next article on BEC.