We are up and running! Chelwood Community Energy Solar Array began supplying electricity to the Grid on 10th December 2015 and I would like to thank everyone involved for completing the project on time and within budget. Since then, despite one of the dullest and wettest winters on record, our equipment has continued to operate without fault. Comparisons have been made with a neighbouring solar site and these give us the initial assurance that our production capacity will meet the predicted levels.
As with any new project there are always some snags and our problems were with the meters that monitor the power output to the Grid. These meters, which are the responsibility of the power distribution company, are now operating correctly but it means that we will need to take readings for at least another month before we are completely confident that the site is operating at maximum efficiency.
There are now two areas that the Board has agreed need immediate attention, the Web Site and the Community Fund.
We intend to improve the web site to include: a picture gallery, up-to-date information on energy generation, energy conservation, government initiatives and funding, useful links to related sites and ‘on-line’ meters showing the power generated by our Solar Array. It has also been agreed that we will establish our own charitable trust to administer the Community Fund.
We are supporting Mongoose Energy in their development of a community energy company that will be able to sell the energy generated by Community Benefit Societies, like ourselves, directly to customers so obtaining a fair price for our electricity and allowing profits to be recycled back into our communities.
Although the immediate future for renewable energy projects is uncertain due to changes in Government policy we remain convinced that generating electricity from solar power forms a vital part of the plan to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.
To close this letter I can think of nothing more appropriate than the words from the Morecombe & Wise song,
‘Bring me sunshine’