We have several projects on the go at various stages of development:
1) Rooftop Solar
Our current primary purpose is generating energy from the installation of rooftop solar in Avalon. At the end of 2016, we completed work on two significant projects in this area. One is Brookside Academy, a local primary school in Street, Somerset, where we have installed 88kwp of solar panels on the rooftops of two of the buildings. Brookside made an exclusivity agreement with ACE and was keen to work with us as a community organisation. The generated solar electricity brings the school savings on its energy bills and provides an important educational resource for children. Money saved can be poured back into other educational initiatives.
Our second major rooftop project is at Evercreech Junction, a local privately-owned industrial estate near Shepton Mallet. We have been given the right to install solar on all suitable rooftops in the estate, which should amount to in the region of 175kwp of solar PV. The first installation was completed in September 2016, on the roof of Rebel Publishing and Spartan Games. There are also significant expansion opportunities at this location including community shares in a new AD plant being built and further rooftop expansion. We are aware that this Industrial Estate may be the ideal location for an Avalon Energy Park (see below).
The Brookside and Evercreech projects will generate clean, safe renewable electricity – and together they will save 52 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year! The profits will be used to establish a community benefit fund to help support initiatives in the local community and ensure that residents benefit directly from ACE’s work.
We are now looking to replicate the Brookside Academy project with over 20 other schools and colleges in the Avalon area. The Local Schools Rooftop Solar Project will be part of the next stage of ACE’s development.
In addition, we want to work with community organisations who are interested in having free solar panels installed on their roofs. The community organisation would receive reduced price electricity during daylight hours and the co-op would receive the feed in tariff to be used for local community benefit. The co-op would cover all installation, maintenance and legal costs.
Please visit our Rooftop Solar Project Page
We are actively seeking fields or brownfield sites for the installation of a solar array. These will have an installed capacity ranging from 150Kw to 1MW.
The energy generated may be used on site or exported to the grid. Such sites will be dependent on, a good local grid connection, southerly aspect and likely to receive planning permission. We have several potential projects on the go at present with a good chance of success.
3) Energy Park
ACE propose to develop, build, own and operate a ‘Community Energy Park’ that will incorporate solar PV and potentially other renewable energy generation technologies appropriate to the site with a total installed capacity of 1MW – 10MW.
Other technologies to be considered include hydro, small to medium scale wind turbines and anaerobic digestion. ACE anticipate working closely with the District Network Operator (Western Power Distribution) and smart energy companies, to incorporate energy storage within the Community Energy Park and take advantage of smart grid technologies for the Avalon community, as these technologies develop and become available.
The power generated will be supplied to the local community through the grid and also be used directly on-site to power a community food production scheme. It is anticipated that food production at the site could come from a solar greenhouse (or poly tunnel) incorporating an Aquaponics growing system and LED grow lighting for year-round crops. A small anaerobic digester could be used to recycle bio-waste from the site and create gas for heating as well as electricity for grow-lighting and organic fertiliser.
Whether on a brown-field or green-field site, one of the key aims of the Community Energy Park is to demonstrate an increase in the food production of the site, over and above ‘traditional’ methods, in a sustainable and organic way.
The Community Energy Park will only be progressed if it has the broad support of the Avalon community. All stages of the development of the Community Energy Park would be recorded in a transparent way, to provide a template case study that could be repeated in rural communities across the country.