Work could start early in 2018 on Hackney’s second roof top solar farm if a joint bid to the Mayor of London’s Community Energy Fund is successful. The Dalston-based Wilton Estate Tenants and Residents Association (WETRA), with the support of volunteers from Hackney Energy, aims to use the flat roof space on the estate to install a solar array of approximately 50 Kilowatts and a set of batteries to store enough energy to provide nighttime lighting for communal spaces, stairwells and the community centre. Consideration will be given to powering two electric car charging bays, or selling power to Hackney residents as part of an energy club, as a method of earning revenue from the electricity produced and stored.
Nic, James and Viv from HE delivering the bid to City Hall.
WETRA chair Debbie Mitchener said:
‘We’re all very excited about the bid. Not only will it help keep a lid on residents’ energy bills and service charges, we’re also hoping to engage young people on the estate in valuable learning opportunities and solar panel building workshop as the project develops. Each year the solar farm will produce about 44 megawatt hours of power, enough to cut the borough’s carbon footprint by about 23 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.’
Speaking for Hackney Energy’s team, James Robb said it would be great to see many more projects like the prototype on Banister House in Homerton:
‘We know of a number of other estates in Hackney that will be encouraged by this bid if it gets the go-ahead early next year. We’re hoping it gets full backing from Hackney councillors, who are making all the right noises about backing community energy.’
London Community Energy Fund
The Mayor of London wants to see more communities involved in producing energy locally and helping to reduce energy use. To help get community projects off the ground he has created the London Community Energy Fund.
The first phase of the London Community Energy Fund will support the development of community solar energy projects (solar photovoltaics and solar thermal). The Mayor’s draft draft Solar Action Plan outlines his approach to putting London on track to achieving 2 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity by 2050. This will make an important contribution to his zero carbon London target and his target for decentralised energy.
The London Community Energy Fund 2017/18 will offer grants of up to £15,000. This can be used to support the development stages of community solar projects (including storage technologies).