Shropshire & Telford Community Energy
Twemlows solar farm, Whitchurch, Shropshire
Twemlows solar farm has been operating since 2015 with some of the funds generated already supporting great projects around the county, including community events like Blackberry Fair.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is working with our experienced partners, backed by Power to Change and Big Society Capital to make the exciting opportunity of transferring the ownership of the solar farm to the local community a reality.
The profits have potential to generate a £1.9m fund to be spent in the local area over the next 20 years.
Between April and June 2020, members of the local community, in partnership with CSE and the CORE consortium, have been busy developing what will soon become Shropshire and Telford Community Energy (STCE), which will be run as a Community Benefit Society and take on ownership of the Twemlows Solar farm.
The STCE working group are now at an exciting stage of having appointed board members and have released their first newsletter which details what they have been up to so far, and the tasks ahead!
You can find out more information on their website and should you wish to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Twemlows Solar Farm
Located on a former RAF airfield just outside Whitchurch
Nearly 80,000 panels with a capacity of 10MW
Powering the equivalent of around 2,400 homes, approximately half the households in Whitchurch
Saving 5,000 tonnes carbon per year
Shropshore and Telford community energy Newsletter: June 2020
The Shropshire and Telford Community Energy working group have been busy in the last couple of months finding out what's required in running a community energy society. We're looking at what other groups have been doing, discussing model rules, studying the roles of directors, thinking of PR campaigns etc. We aim to have the community benefit society set up in July and be in a position to launch our share offer in October.
We have four volunteers willing to stand for the main posts of the society, Robert Saunders as Chair, Tim Baldwin as Vice-Chair, Fran Hunt as Treasurer and Dave Green as Secretary. These four are assisted by Howard Betts, Naomi Wrighton, Nick Saxby and Rebecca Tee. Nick has offered to set up facebook and twitter accounts, Dave is looking after the website.
As part of the CoRE Next Generation programme we're also being offered a grant for feasibility studies for further community energy schemes in the Shropshire and Telford area. If you have any ideas that you would like to have added to our long list please email email@example.com. We'll have a good look at all ideas but obviously we can't promise they'll all be taken up.
A word from our Chair-elect, Robert Saunders “I am very happy to be in this role whilst looking to colleagues for much support in this challenging task. Much work will have to be done in a short period of time. We are learning quickly with much professional help from our partners. I look forward to being able to launch our share offer to Shropshire and Telford folk and wider afield.”
Nick Saxby comments that "Being a part of this project has been challenging and rewarding. My background is conservation and education, so I'm really interested in promoting sustainability generally, but I didn't have experience in the renewable energy sector. There has been a lot to learn about the technicalities of managing a project like this, but thankfully, STCE and the broader consortium has put me in contact with a fantastic network of skilled, experienced and, importantly, helpful professionals, who have made the process very enjoyable. The covid-19 lockdown has itself been a challenge, but also an opportunity to build networks and learn new things digitally: I've never had so many webinars! I'm passionate about working for the benefit of local communities, and I'm optimistic and ambitious about what STCE is going to be able to achieve in the coming years".