Wells-based Avalon Community Energy seeks solar project ideas for Community Energy Fortnight

By Tim Lethaby

16th Jul 2021 | Local News

Community Energy Fortnight runs until June 27
Community Energy Fortnight runs until June 27

Residents can help power large-scale solar projects by joining Wells-based Avalon Community Energy during Community Energy Fortnight, which runs until June 27.

Avalon Community Energy (ACE) was set up in 2014 as a community-owned co-operative to manage local solar power projects funded through share issues.

So far, installations in two schools and one in a business park are saving 70 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

In the last year Avalon Community Energy has celebrated a year of energy generation from its latest solar project at Hugh Sexey Middle School in Blackford and facilitated new solar panels at the Connect Centre, Wells.

It has also teamed up with IDDEA to launch Solar Streets to help make the installation of rooftop solar panels more affordable for households.

ACE directors would like to hear from people with ideas for large-scale solar projects that could contribute to a new Somerset-wide community energy organisation.

Anyone can become a member for just £10 and have a say in the development of local solar projects and how a community benefit fund could be used.

Joanna Davey from Wells has been a member of Avalon Community Energy since it was launched.

She said: "I got involved with ACE to make a practical, tangible difference by investing in local solar projects.

"Knowing that two schools and a local business are generating sustainable energy from sunshine is such a powerful and tremendously satisfying way to tackle climate change.

"That simple connection really helps me feel hopeful that I can contribute to reversing the damage to our world.

"I've learnt that collaborating with others not only amplifies my efforts but also encourages me when I feel downcast.

"The best thing is that anyone with just a modest amount of money can contribute and create a better future."

This year Community Energy Fortnight highlights the role that renewable energy can play in transition and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

It wants to harness local co-operation that has been a feature in cities, towns and villages across England to spark discussions about shared ownership of energy generation.

Chair of Avalon Community Energy Stewart Crocker said: "Community-owned energy enables people to make a practical contribution to tackling the climate emergency by driving down carbon emissions.

"By coming together in this way we can create a more decentralised, democratised and ultimately more secure energy system."

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