Help Make It Happen!
What is it?
North Kensington Community Energy, Kensington and Chelsea’s first community-owned group, is installing solar panels on the roofs of Avondale Park Primary School, Thomas Jones Primary School and the Dalgarno community centre in North Kensington.
The project brings a lot of benefits to local families, including cheaper electricity for the schools and community centre, workshops with schools in the local area, a training programme for 16-19-year olds and the creation of a local community fund of around £28,000.
The 86kWp solar panels will generate clean energy, saving 32 tonnes of CO2 per year which will help lower our carbon footprint in the area. By engaging with local children, the project will also raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and how anyone can help improve the environment.
The NKCE project is developed by Repowering London, who specialise in community-owned energy projects, with support from the Council and the Mayor of London. Repowering London have a successful track record of projects, installing 300 kWp of solar power in Brixton, Hackney (see photo above) and Vauxhall, and raising over £800,000 to date for community projects.
The project will:
- Fund community activities by creating a £28,000 community fund to be used in the North Kensington area;
- Fight climate change by generating zero carbon electricity;
- Provide an ethical and social investment opportunity for local families and businesses;
- Provide education, training and work experience for youth and local people;
- Empower communities and promote local leadership;
- Inspire wider environmental activities in the Borough;
- Save 640 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere; and,
- Generate 1,396 MWh of clean renewable energy over the 20-year lifetime of the project.
Workshops with children
NKCE is working with the Council’s Climate Change Team and local primary schools to develop educational workshops around the project. So far, we have delivered solar panel making workshops at the Portobello Pavilion, Bay 20 Community Centre and are planning another workshop in February half term. We’ve been part of school fairs, assemblies, local children designed our logo and we are creating a school experiment pack for Key Stage 2 pupils.
NKCE’s Training Programme
Last autumn we ran a comprehensive training programme for sixteen young people from the local area aged between 16 and 19 years old. The training placement is paid at the London Living Wage, and trainees learnt a wide range of skills involved in the development and delivery of a community energy project, including finance, legal, technical, IT and public relations. The first cohort graduated in late November 2018 and we hope to secure funding to run further courses in 2019.
How to Get Involved and Invest
You can support this solar project by investing in the community share offer by 22nd February!
The group need to raise £83,000 to buy the solar panels using a community share offer. Anyone can invest with a minimum of £100, and young people and those on benefits can invest a minimum of £50. Investors will receive their money back with interest at an average 3% across the 20-year life of the project.
To have a voice in how the community fund is spent, all residents of Kensington and Chelsea can otherwise become members of NKCE for £1. NKCE makes the benefits of renewable electricity available to everyone in the community, regardless of income.