A new round of funding opens this month on a grant scheme for solar PV and EV charging points, which is being delivered by the Brighton Energy Co-op.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Community Solar Accelerator offers grants for solar PV and electrical vehicle (EV) charging points in the Coast to Capital area – an LEP growth hub region taking in West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and East Surrey.
The project is aimed at SMEs with a roof space of at least 180 m2, which are looking to save CO2 and on their electricity bills. Businesses can register their interest through the Brighton Energy Co-op website.
The scheme offers finance of 40% of the total cost, or up to £25,000, of solar PV arrays or solar PV in combination with electric vehicle charging points. The grant can support solar array sizes between 30kW and 80kW.
Brighton Energy Co-op says the scheme will help businesses weather a volatile energy market, allowing them to generate your own electricity predict their costs and consumption with more accuracy.
It hopes the scheme will also help resolve “the chicken and egg situation where there are not enough EV charging points for people to confidently invest in electric cars, and similarly there have been concerns about there not being enough electric cars to use the charging points”.
It adds: “First we need to build the electric charging point infrastructure to make EVs an equally attractive and convenient option of transport that people can rely on. But they need to be a low-carbon option and the electricity generated to charge the EVs needs to come from a renewable source. This is why they offer grant support for EV charging points in conjunction with solar PV.”
Accelerator account manager Svenja Czubayko said: “Many businesses have pledged to go carbon neutral and the Community Solar Accelerator grant offers them the support they need to get there quicker. The project was created in an effort to support businesses that are keen to transition to renewable energy but where the upfront cost is a barrier.
“This is the decade in which carbon emissions need to be brought under control and the small and medium-sized business sector will make a significant contribution. The accelerator aims to support the shift towards a low carbon economy using tested and proven technologies and making those accessible again after many other subsidies for solar have sadly been abolished.”
New applications will be accepted every quarter until June 2023. There is only a limited amount of funding available and Brighton Energy Co-op warns it will not be able to accept applications once the limit is reached.