Scottish community solar shares go on sale

Shares in a community energy project to install solar panels on up to 25 buildings owned by Edinburgh City Council have gone on sale. 

The Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative scheme was set up to enable local residents to participate in renewable energy schemes. 

It has engaged the services of social enterprise Energy4All, that helps community groups to develop, own and operate renewable energy co-operatives in the UK. 

The minimum share purchase is £250 per person, and if the project raises enough money to install panels on all sites, it will become the UK’s largest community-owned urban renewables scheme.

Speaking at the launch event on 29 September, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland and Chairman of the co-op, said:  “Anyone in Scotland – in fact anyone in the UK – can apply to buy shares, but preference will be given to people living within the Edinburgh City Council area. 

“In total we are looking to raise £1.4 million, and if the offer is, as we hope, oversubscribed, Edinburgh folk will be first in line.

Edinburgh City Council’s Vice Convener of Transport and Environment, Councillor Adam McVey, added: “This a wonderful project and will bring significant long term environmental, social and economic benefits to the city.

“We have an ambitious target of reducing Edinburgh’s carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and this new community co-operative is an important step towards us achieving this.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues