Brighton Energy Co-operative announces a raft of new projects

Community rooftop solar systems are to be installed at schools, offices and university buildings in the city

Brighton Energy Co-operative has kicked off 2019 by announcing a series of community rooftop solar projects.

The co-op, formed in 2010, raises investment for renewable energy schemes in its area, providing host sites with cheap electricity. The co-op uses the income to pay back capital, return interest to members and for distribution through its community fund.

It has grown from its initial pool of eight investors to a membership of more than 500, and is now planning the latest additions to its £1,900,000 of investments.

At the University of Brighton’s Grand Parade Building, work is under way on a 60kWp solar system, which will join community-owned systems already in operation on the university’s Varley halls of residence, Hillbrow Sports Centre and Robert Dodd Library rooftops.

Two new solar installations are planned at Shoreham Port – Hove’s commercial dock facility – with a 90kWp system at Lady Bee Business Centre and a 30kWp system at Maritime House. This builds on a long association between the co-op and the port, where there are already several community-owned solar panels in place.

At Sussex Coast College, the co-op is partnering with Energise Sussex Coast on a £180,000 scheme to build a 250kWp facility, which will save the college around £4,250 a year on energy bills. Fittingly for the first community energy investment offer in Hastings, it will see 1,066 panels installed on the building.

And the co-op is an approved contractor with Brighton and Hove City Council to roll out free solar installations on the city’s schools, offering them clean energy and cheaper bills.

More than 60 schools, youth centres and youth clubs have taken advantage of the offer and now, in Brighton, a 240kWp system is to be installed at Carden Primary School, and a 60kWp facility is coming to Coldean Primary School. Schools in the area have until the end of February to take advantage of the offer. More information at