A group of local people has submitted a planning application to build a community solar farm in a discrete location near to Berwick Station.
If granted planning permission, the solar farm will generate clean power for 900 homes and is also projected to raise a substantial amount of money each year for a local community fund.
The project is a first in East Sussex and nationally, with benefits including local people being able to invest in their own clean power station, all members having a say on the running of the enterprise and the power station raising a substantial sum each year to re-invest in the community
This money will be used to help local hard-working families and households reduce their energy consumption and cut their energy bills, while doing their bit on climate change.
Alister Scott, chair of the Community Interest Company set up to enable the project, said: “We know how tough it can be to pay energy bills, which have gone up and up. Our scheme, a true pioneer in the UK, is all about changing that for hundreds of local households.
“Solar technology puts power in our hands, giving us the opportunity to generate clean power and local revenue that we can do great things with. We aim, each year, to help 25-50 homes install better, cheaper, and cleaner heating, lighting and insulation.”
The scheme is also one of the first in the UK to create a partnership between the community and a commercial developer. Located on land adjacent to the recently built Berwick Solar farm, this project will be wholly community owned.
Alister Scott added: “Susenco, the developer who built the Berwick Solar farm, committed in 2013 to offering local ownership. This project brings that commitment to life on land that they originally prepared for their planning application.
“Not only does this project look to build a substantial local community fund to help people reduce their energy use but it will also offer the opportunity for local people to own a part of the project through a share offer.
“Over the two years of developing this pioneering scheme, hundreds of people have expressed their support.
“We know there is a small and noisy minority who have opposed other solar farms and hope that they will see that this one is genuinely for the community. I invite anyone who wishes to express their support or concerns to be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Visit www.cuckmerecommunitysolar.com for more information.
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