Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) is celebrating after raising more than £2 million through its crowdfunding campaign.
The cash will finance the purchase of an operational 4.6MWp solar array at Puriton in Somerset; build a solar park near Lawrence Weston in Bristol; and install solar panels on 19 community buildings across Bristol.
The coffers could be swelled even further with the dealine for bond and share offers extended to 3 May (2016).
Andy O’Brien, Co-director of Bristol Energy Cooperative, said: “We are delighted to have reached the £2 million landmark in such a short time frame, and would like to thank all our investors and supporters for backing our campaign so wholeheartedly.
"It is an incredible achievement, and testament to the fact that people want to power our communities differently. Rather than being in the hands of the 'big six', community energy puts energy into local control as well as offering a return on investment. Our crowdfunding success puts BEC at the heart of this renewable energy revolution with Bristol and the south-west leading the way."
Liz Larkin is an investor in the solar projects. She said: "I feel it is critical to take climate change seriously and for each of us to do what we can to start tipping the balance in favour of a better future for us and for our children. I have invested in Bristol Energy Co-op because it is well run and is taking practical action right now that will benefit us all."
On completion of the crowdfunding campaign a community benefit fund of £100,000 will be available to local groups. Surplus profits from the Co‑operatives UK member's solar projects will be reinvested into the communit fund - and BEC is encouraging people to register their interest.
For further information on the crowdfunding solar project visit www.ethex.org.uk/Bristolbond or www.bristolenergy.coop. Community groups in Bristol and Somerset can register their interest in the £100,000 community fund by emailing: [email protected].