Leominster Community Solar

We have installed a 49kW solar array on the  Bridge Street Sports Centre in Leominster.  This is generating clean, green electricity for the centre.  94 people have joined our co-op and will make a healthy return on their investment. This is a first for Herefordshire as a wholly community owned renewable energy project and one of the largest solar roofs in the county.

The £150,725 we required was raised by 22nd December 2011 – in fact the share offer was oversubscribed by over 40%.

We’re now looking for the next roof in Herefordshire.  Please get in touch if you have ideas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leominster Community Solar

Cleaning & maintenance update

Dear Members,

We thought you may be interested in some recent activity to clean the panels and carry out some maintenance. Ben gives us an update:

In May the panels were cleaned for the first time at Bridge Street since the array was installed. Due to the nature of the roof it is unfortunately quite expensive to clean the panels because of the specialist access required – but also necessary because of the upper panels being at a very shallow angle, and fairly close to both the recycling centre (dusty) and some tall, pollen laden trees . We will therefore be looking at doing some kind of analysis to work out the best period for cleaning cycles. Here are some photos of the work:

Some testing has been done to prove the safety systems and quality of the wiring is up to standard – this showed only minor impacts from degradation over time. A minor upgrade to the earthing system may be required. A program of planned maintenance is being devised due to the requirements of our insurance policy. We had a small drop out of information from the monitoring system which has been rectified, but output was not affected. The system is performing at similar levels to other systems we are aware of in the area, and above predicted levels. Some more work will be done on checking performance of the system on a per inverter basis.

Looking forward to seeing you at the AGM!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning & maintenance update

2017 Annual General Meeting

Dear Members,

As per our email communications, we would like to invite you to the next Leominster Community Solar Co-op Annual General Meeting, which will be held at Grange Court, Pinsley Road, Leominster, HR6 8NL at 6:30pm, on Thursday 15th June. The AGM will be held in conjunction with Leominster Sunrise Co-op.

An Agenda and other papers will be distributed to members in the next few days.

Only members of each individual co-op are able to attend the formal business of each respective AGM, but as they will be run in succession, if you are a member of more than one, you will be able to attend each meeting.

Best wishes,

Ben, Ann, Richard

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2017 Annual General Meeting

2016 Annual General Meeting

Dear Members,

As per our email communications, you are invited to the next Leominster Community Solar Co-op Annual General Meeting, which will be held at Grange Court in Leominster, at 7pm, on Thursday 21st July. The AGM will be held in conjunction with Leominster Sunrise Co-op.

Only members of each individual co-op are able to attend the formal business of each respective AGM, but as they will be run in succession, if you are a member of more than one, you will be able to attend each meeting.

Following the AGM business, Gordon Coppock, Chair of Kleen (an environmental group) in Kington, Director or Pomona Solar Co-op, Energy Consultant and electric vehicle advocate has kindly agreed to give a presentation. He will talk about electric vehicle charging in Herefordshire and his funded EU bid to help electric vehicles to take off in Herefordshire.

Best wishes,

Ben, Ann, Richard

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2016 Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting

Dear Members

You are invited to the next Leominster Community Solar Co-op Annual General Meeting, which will be held at Grange Court in Leominster, from 7-9pm, on Thursday 16th July. This will be held in conjunction with 2 other Herefordshire solar co-operatives, Pomona Solar and Leominster Sunrise Co-op.

Only members of each individual co-op are able to attend the formal business of each respective AGM, but as they will be run in succession, if you are a member of more than one, you will be able to attend each meeting. In between, there will be light refreshments in the café area in the foyer, a chance to mingle and view the exhibition of other projects and celebrate the success of community owned solar in Herefordshire.

For LCSC, the AGM will be held at 8.15-9pm.

Eithne George, one of the current 4 directors will be standing down and will not be standing for re-election to the board. If you would like to stand for election, please send a paragraph about yourself to Sharenergy by end of day on the 23rd June.

If you have any motions you would like to propose for the agenda, please also let us know by this date.

Further details about how to find the venue and parking will be included when the papers are sent out at the end of June.

Regards
Ben, Ann, Richard and Eithne

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Annual General Meeting

Sunrise switch-on days away…

With the handover of the new Leominster primary school from the contractors to the Council now imminent, we are hopefully days away from being able to turn on the Sunrise Cooperative array. This news comes as we have our own good news on saving 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide (see post below). Leominster is blazing a trail for solar co-ops in the UK, setting a number of ‘firsts’, of which we are very proud.  

The sooner we can get the Sunrise share offer complete, the sooner we can set to work on all the other ideas for solar co-ops in the town that are swirling around.  Please do pass the word on that we only have £34,500 worth of shares remaining, as word of mouth is always the best way to find new members.

For more information on the Leominster Sunrise Co-Op project, please click here.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sunrise switch-on days away…

Almost 100 tonnes of CO2 avoided!

Those eagle eyed watchers may have seen… we are about to reach 100 tonnes of CO2 avoided! Another milestone reached during a good year of performance. To date, we are tracking very similar to 2013.

For live information on the installation, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Almost 100 tonnes of CO2 avoided!

Award winning progress

Though it is hard to believe, we have just reached the end of our first whole year of solar electricity generation. We have made great progress. Our prediction was to produce 42,000 kWh per annum. As of 10-12-12 I can confirm that we have reached over 47,000 kWh and therefore expect to meet our financial projections for the year. To add some further perspective, 47,000 kWh is the equivalent of 26.5 tonnes of carbon saved! (For those with any further interest carbon calculation, have a look at http://realtimecarbon.org.) Of course, we will share full details of our performance at the next AGM. Until then we hope you enjoy taking a look at the performance data from time to time and seeing the system in action!

We have another piece of good news to share. On Friday 12th of October, Leominster Community Solar received the Robert Owen Sustainable Communities prize. The Robert Owen Group has three core elements of education, training and regeneration. You can find out more at www.robertowen.org.  As a cooperative organisation the group re-invests surplus income in projects based in our communities in the UK and overseas. It is wonderful to have been recognized for such an award and we have received a handsome trophy which we hope to display in some way at the Sports Centre.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you at the AGM in June.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Award winning progress

Performance data now online

We’ve now made realtime data from our solar array available online here. The eagle eyed will notice that we have already gone over the 42,000 kWh predicted in our share offer document – must be because we’ve had such a sunny year! The monitoring equipment has only recently been fully configured which is why the monthly graphs only start in mid-October, but as you can see we now have up-to-the minute data so you can spot individual clouds as they pass (almost). Congratulations to Ben and the team for getting this sorted –  isn’t it great?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Performance data now online

Performance update…

Dear members,

Our latest meter readings are in and our output is higher than we had anticipated at this time. We are still working on a more automated solution to provide regular updates of performance on the site so please continue to watch this space!

All members should have received a copy of the AGM minutes electronically recently. A total of 18 members attended this lively meeting where a range of subjects concerning the coop, its running and rules were raised and discussed. A number of questions were asked and responses to these are included in the minutes.

As a reminder, we have received approval for EIS and the forms been sent out to members. If you have not received one or did not initially request one, please get in touch with Eithne: eithne@sharenergy.coop.

Finally, as you may have seen on other correspondence, there are a number of other opportunities and openings that members may be interested in and that are listed here.

Sheffield Renewables (hydro) launched on September 15th with more details here: http://www.sheffieldrenewables.org.uk/

Brixton Energy (solar) share offer is currently Take a look at: http://brixtonenergy.co.uk/

Drumlin (wind) share offer is also underway: http://www.drumlin.coop/

Best wishes for a sunny autumn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Performance update…

Enterprise Investment Scheme Approval

The co-op has received approval for its application for EIS tax relief, which it submitted earlier this year to HMRC.  This scheme entitles eligible members, who have £500 of shares or more in Leominster Community Solar to claim back (through their tax bill) 30% of the value of the shares.

EIS is a tax mechanism to encourage investment in new enterprises and at the previous budget the proportion which could be reclaimed was increased from 20% to 30%.  However, it was also removed for renewable energy schemes in receipt of FiTs, with the exception of community projects like ours.

Members who have requested a form, have been sent one.  Any that still require one, should get in touch with eithne@sharenergy.coop

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Enterprise Investment Scheme Approval