Lambeth Community Solar’s schools project offers green investment opportunity

We’ve given this space to an announcement from Lambeth Community Solar that tells you about its exciting first project and share offer that opens tomorrow:

Lambeth Community Solar (LCS) is Lambeth’s first borough-wide energy co-op. We have a big ambition: installing community-owned solar panels on all the roofs of the borough and lead it towards a green, sustainable and inclusive future. We’re working together with local residents, businesses, community groups and the Council to make this a reality, and we’ve just started our first project! 

Solar panels on The Elmgreen and The Norwood schools  

In October, we’ll be installing 145kWp of solar panels on roofs of The Elmgreen and The Norwood schools. The schools have been actively involved in the project: our logo has been designed by a Norwood student, we’ve delivered workshops on climate change at The Norwood school and we’ve taken 8 students from both schools for a day of paid work experience installing solar panels for a changemaker lab.

On 19 September, we’ll be launching a community share offer to raise the £137,000 needed to purchase and install the panels. Anyone with a UK bank account can invest from £100 and Lambeth residents under 25 can invest from £50. Over the lifetime of the project (20 years), investors will receive an average 3% return on investment. 

Students get hands on during work experience

The electricity from the solar panels will be sold to the schools at a discounted price, and any surplus will be exported to the grid. With the profits, we will not only repay our investors with interest but also create a Community Fund. This Fund (£35,000 over the project’s lifetime) will be used to benefit the schools and the community, supporting education, energy advice and innovation projects.  

This project will save 31 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, which is the equivalent of what 3,500 trees take out of the atmosphere over the same period – it’s more trees than in  Brockwell park!

LCS volunteer Mark said: “Sometimes the hugeness of the climate crisis seems overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel powerless to stop it.

“Putting solar panels on our school’s roof won’t make climate change go away, but it will show that there are simple, effective solutions at our fingertips – and it’s great that the local community will be central to the project.”

As a co-op we are run by our members

All investors become members of the co-op. Lambeth residents who cannot invest can become members of the co-op for a symbolic £1, ensuring the co-op remains inclusive. All members of the co-op will have an equal say on how the project is run and the Community Fund is spent.

LCS members spreading the word at West Norwood’s Feast food festival

We are working in partnership with Repowering London. This pioneering social enterprise has already developed many successful community energy projects in London, bringing power to the people in various ways:  

  • Solar panels – Installing community owned solar panels to generate clean, green electricity to be used by schools, businesses and community buildings  
  • Education – Working with schools, colleges, and community groups to provide training opportunities for people of all ages. 
  • Support – Providing residential energy audits for anyone in the borough, helping them to save money and act to reduce their home energy usage.  
  • Innovation – Piloting new ways electricity is delivered to residents on social housing in two Lambeth estates, reducing bills for residents.

The share offer will take place between the 19th of September and 22nd of November 2019. To buy shares, visit www.repowering.org.uk/LCS. Consult our FAQ and for further information, please contact Dave or Eva at info@repowering.org.uk or 02036747519. 

All photos courtesy of Lambeth Community Solar

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