A small group of people with a shared interest in climate change mitigation realised that collectively we had enough of the skill mix to initiate a solar project in our spare time. We established a financial model for installing solar, then we secured seed funding from our local authority to develop the required governance and legal framework. Running our first successful share offer was a momentous event which proved our capability and was the beginning of our track record for local solar in the context of government subsidy. Since subsequent share offers, our portfolio covers 7 sites, £450k of investment and over 100 members. Beneficiaries are the community site owners who benefit from lower cost energy, the adults and children who use those sites and our co-op of >100 investors.
What have you learnt that others will find most useful?
- Voluntary groups with little funds are slow to progress - avoid deadlines e.g. FiT
- Projects have greater certainty when you involve committed experts.
- If a co-op has multiple projects, lump share offer % returns together (it's more ethical).
- Try to repeat your successes, rather than experimenting with new projects each time.
Read more: https://www.maidenergy.coop