(Photo from the launch of Egni PV Co-operative at the Dove Workshops, Banwen, )
Egni (‘Energy’ in Welsh) is a co-operative that supports the development of solar energy on community owned buildings in the South Wales Valleys thus generating clean energy, enabling community projects to be more financially stable, and giving people a chance to use their money to help shape a more sustainable future.
Egni raised £170,000 to install Solar Panels on three community buildings and 2 schools. It is anticipated that this will collectively help save around £6-8,000 a year on these buildings’ electricity bills.
Renew Wales were there from the very start, with one of their co-ordinators, Dan McCallum developing the project with the main benefit being that Renew Wales gave him the time to get together a group of interested organisations from across the South Wales Valleys. He was then able to draw on mentoring support to carry out energy surveys on the buildings involved, advice and support on developing the share offer as well as some support developing the Egni website.
To date the sites have generated over 50 Megawatt hours of electricity saving 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This is equivalent to the annual electrical consumption of about 15 homes. There were about 15 different companies in the Egni supply chain. The total value of the contracts was about £200k and this safeguarded 33 jobs. In addition, the coop is saving a total of £6-8k/year in electricity costs for the sites which also indirectly safeguards jobs in the community centres and schools. Most of the jobs safeguarded are local and located in Communities First villages. There is also a considerable benefit from keeping the SEIS tax relief within the Welsh economy.
Egni won Start-up of the Year Award in the Renewable UK Cymru Green Energy Awards in 2014.
For further information on Egni and to see an up to date figure about how much energy they are generating please visit their website.
http://egni.coop/ or follow on Twitter: @egni_coop