Chester Community Energy Ltd (CCEL) has again provided grants to local community groups from revenues received from generating electricity from sunshine. Last year’s sunshine has produced power from solar panels on the Northgate Arena, the revenues of which have provided three thousand pounds of funding to local charities/community groups to reduce energy use in their buildings. Six applications were received and three were chosen to attend an open interview session to enable the difficult task of selecting the successful applicant(s).
The panel of three decided that the fund should be split between Stanney Grange Community Centre and the Grozone Community Garden in Northwich. Stanney Grange was awarded £1,900 to install LED lighting in their community centre and Grozone received £1,100 towards an off-grid solar PV power supply. The third short-listed applicant was The Hospice of the Good Shepherd who were offered consultancy services for LED lighting, provided by CCEL volunteers.
The awarding of the fund was carried out by a panel of three members of CCEL with the help of Cheshire West Voluntary Action. The successful applicants were delighted to be helped by the new fund which will be awarded annually. The amount of funding in the future will depend on the fittle British weather but it is hoped that the present level of funding will be maintained. Graham Booth, a director of CCEL, said “We have now commissioned two more solar PV projects at Christleton and Neston and this will enable us to continue with our community benefit fund into the foreseeable future. There are so many local voluntary groups providing excellent support to their communities and we would love to offer more help. Even though government financial support and incentives for renewable energy are not readily available any more, CCEL are working hard to grow the business. We have just introduced a scheme to install modern lighting systems in community buildings in and around Chester which could provide modest amounts of additional income for us”.
CCEL is a community benefit society that is funded by its members who purchase shares in the society. They receive annual interest, which is presently set at 4% and cash in their shares at face value after three and before fifteen years. All surplus money from the projects are used to invest in the business and provide grants to local community groups. The society is administered solely by volunteers and welcomes new volunteers with the necessary skills into the business.
For more information search on www.chestercommunityenergy.org.uk or contact Graham on 077445989736.