The Big Solar Pioneer programme keeps on rolling and we are quickly reaching the next stage with some of our pioneers, inputting actual usage figures and really pushing the financial model to its limits. We always knew that community solar without subsidies would be a tough thing to make actually happen so it’s gratifying to see that it can be done (on paper so far!).
It hasn’t been easy to get out there and visit sites over the summer but we have managed a few as well as being busy training new activist volunteers on solar array design via Zoom webinars. These webinars run every few months and we are starting to build up a library of resources to help activists teach themselves at their own pace, recap between webinars and after new OpenSolar software releases.
Further info on our website here: https://bigsolar.coop/volunteer
There are now over 80 proposals with building owners, leads and activists so we need to start organising the next tier of training which will focus on how to approach building owners. In some cases we are already talking to the right people in organisations to get agreements made but for others we need to help share the expertise on how to get these approaches right. If you are interested in helping us to teach this skill (paid role) or are looking to learn it, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news, we had been planning to make a short film but lockdown hit just as we were about to meet up in front of the cameras – booo! So we have had to rethink and have been working with a talented designer on a graphic notation explainer for the Big Solar Co-op. This style of artwork is great for getting messages across quickly and brings an element of fun to proceedings. After all we are not a corporate entity or dodgy rent-a-roof outfit and we don’t want to look like one! Here is a sneak peek and you can expect to see more on the website and our social media channels soon:
And lastly, we recently got shortlisted for MCS Charitable Foundation funding. If we are successful in our application, we hope to be in a position to advertise a new paid role sometime before Christmas. Wish us luck…