CEP relaunches solar scheme

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Local energy charity Community Energy Plus (CEP) has relaunched its Solar Communities project, which last year saw 22 buildings benefitting from 177 kW of free solar PV.

L-R: Andy Tanner, MD of Plug into the Sun, Dominic Boothroyd, of The National Lobster Hatchery and Rob Pickering, senior project officer at Community Energy Plus

Camborne-based CEP has bought together investors and local installers to fund roof-mounted solar PV. The re-launch also sees the scheme extended so that not only community buildings, but also commercial premises and domestic properties can benefit from free electricity.

The charity has secured a multi-million pound fund to invest in the technology, and PV systems of all sizes will be on offer. Participating buildings could save around £2.5k on their electricity bills every year, based on a 50 kW installation.

Neil Farrington, Sustainable energy projects manager, said: “Having been overwhelmed with interest last year, it’s fantastic that we are able to now continue with the project, allowing more buildings to take advantage of free solar energy without the barrier of raising capital to fund their own installations.

“We’re hoping to install a significantly larger amount of solar PV, and that as many buildings as possible come forward.”

Dominic Boothroyd, manager at the Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, who had 9kW installed through the scheme back in May, said: “Since installation in the spring the panels have performed well, reducing our energy bills by approximately 10%.

“This combined with an approximately 10% reduction in energy requirements through raised awareness amongst the staff and volunteers has made a significant difference to our carbon footprint and have reduced our carbon emissions by approximately six tons.”

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