A £20 million fund has been launched to provide free solar panels to community buildings in Cornwall.
Cornish sustainable energy charity Community Energy Plus has secured the investment package from local PV installers Clean Earth Energy, Plug Into The Sun, Solar Solutions and Solen Energy UK.
Buildings taking up the offer will not only be able to take advantage of free electricity generated by the systems ranging in size from 2 kw to 50 kw, but unlike other ‘rent a roof schemes’ will also receive an income from any electricity not used.
Over the next eight months the charity expects to help more than 300 local organisations to take up the offer before the April deadline. Although the participating solar companies have pledged a total of £20 million to date, Community Energy Plus is confident that further investment can be secured if there is a strong take up of the scheme.
Neil Farrington, sustainable energy projects manager at Community Energy Plus, explained: “We’ve developed this scheme in response to the challenge that many non-commercial organisations face when looking to get their own renewable energy projects off the ground.
“Many lack the upfront investment to buy a system outright but are also wary of the limitations of ‘rent a roof’ offers.
“At a time when grant funding for such initiatives has greatly reduced and energy bills are continually rising, this offer provides a fantastic but limited-time opportunity for community buildings to secure multiple benefits of the renewable energy revolution.”