From 1st November, people in Sheffield and around the country will be able to invest in and benefit from community owned renewable solar energy produced in the city. Sheffield Renewables is seeking to raise £150,000 to deliver 4 solar photovoltaic (PV) which will produce 110kW of renewable energy and save approximately 5 tonnes of CO2.
Sheffield Renewables is leading the growth of community energy in the region. Emma Bridge, Cheif Executive of Community Energy England said, “Community energy brings so many benefits to a local area. As well as generating renewable energy, it reduces CO2 emissions, provides ethical routes for local investors, generates revenue in the local economy and develops skills.”
The community shares allow people to have a stake in an ethical business that tackles climate change and provides a socially useful and accountable way to invest your money. “Investing in Sheffield Renewables is about more than financial returns, it is also about putting something back in to our city and contributing to a more sustainable future” says Chris Broome, an existing investor.
This social investment provides an attractive ethical investment opportunity for individuals, business and organisations with the aim of providing a modest rate of interest of 3% as well as generating 1.5% for local projects through a Community Benefit Fund, of which members determine its use. Investors can invest anything from £100 to £20,000 for individual and corporate members, with societies able to invest up to £100,000. With every £1 invested however, the ability of Sheffield Renewables to produce renewable energy will be doubled due to support from the Co-op Community Shares Booster Programme along with Power to Change who will match community investment up to £77,000.
Sheffield Renewables was set up in 2009 to help create a cleaner, more sustainable, pleasant and fair city, by developing community owned renewable energy projects. The organisation is run on co-operative principles alongside volunteers who reinforce its roots in the community and reduce running costs, so that the vast majority of funds go directly in to developing local renewables.
This is the second community shares initiative from Sheffield Renewables and will build upon 3 previous successful solar photovoltaic schemes begun in 2012 on community buildings across the city region: Swinton Fitzwilliam Primary School, Attercliffe Police Station and Paces Campus, High Green.