Spring has eventually truly sprung and we are getting back out and about. It feels really good to be able to meet up in person and do site visits again! This is us social distancing in a park in Shrewsbury last month to meet Chris in person for the first time. It’s all very well being a digital first project but nothing quite matches actually working together in the same place, at least for a few hours.
We have, as ever, been busy training volunteers in solar array design, triaging masses of sites, hosting our regular ‘ask us anything’ call and in April we ran our second webinar of the year on Approaching host sites.
We were delighted to be asked to present at the recent Community Energy South Masterclass – Making local action on climate change happen! with Hampshire County Council for their Pathway to Community Energy project. Lots of people were interested to hear how the Big Solar Co-op was developing, especially our lightweight legal agreements and how they could work with us to get community solar going in their area.
The Big Solar Co-op also got a mention in the South Shropshire Climate Action Plan which was presented to Philip Dunne as Member of Parliament for the Ludlow Constituency (he is also the Chairman of Environmental Audit Committee) last Saturday. It is an impressive, well written and researched 200 page document and we are really chuffed that word is getting around about what we can do and are doing here!
This week Chris & Noel are off up North for a rapid fire series of site visits and meetings with a wide range of stakeholders. They will be bouncing ideas around, listening to how things do and don’t work in local contexts and working out what can be done now to get community solar jumpstarted again. With them they will have a sheaf of designs worked on by volunteers all across the UK and simple financial proposals to give host sites a clear, robust idea of what we are offering right from the outset.
Lastly, we have a tentative but grand plan to hold a bigger gathering in the Autumn, probably in Birmingham, and you are all invited! We will announce a date as soon as we can – and it will be posted on our social media channels and website events page – but if you would like to pre-register your interest, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fingers crossed for meeting up!