Bright future for community renewables in Edinburgh

Chas Booth heralds the launch of Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative.

I was delighted to attend the launch this morning of Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative. This is a new venture which aims to put solar panels on the roofs of 25 council buildings around the city, to both cut carbon emissions and to create a community benefit fund which can be invested in community initiatives. The share offer was launched today at Gylemuir Primary School, one of the 25 buildings where the panels will be installed, and is seeking to raise £1.4m from individual share-holders to allow the installations to go ahead. The council will benefit from cheap electricity, the environment will benefit from clean green renewable energy, and the community will benefit from funds to re-invest in tackling fuel poverty. Genuinely a win-win-win proposal.

solar co-opI’m particularly delighted we’ve got to the stage of formally launching a share offer. It wasn’t easy to get to this point – the clash of cultures between a small, innovative can-do community group and the large, bureaucratic council was not easy. But we’re here at last, and I look forward to the panels themselves being installed on schools, community centres and swimming pools across the city over the next 12 months.

Of course, before we get to that stage, we need to raise the cash. The share offer launch this morning had a lot of interest, but we need to ensure that sufficient investors put their money into the project. The minimum investment is £250, but that delivers a 5% return which is more then you’ll get from most savings accounts these days. And of course you can invest more if you want to.

To request a share offer document or to find out more, text SUNSHINE to 60777, or visit www.edinburghsolar.coop and get involved in an initiative that delivers real people power.

Cllr Chas Booth is a director of the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative.