Hackney Energy is hoping that the Rio Cinema will be installing an array of solar panels on its rooftop, charging up two large batteries during the daytime to power the cinema at night. As the Hackney Gazette said, the UK’s first solar powered cinema is coming to a cinema near you!

We put up a stall and gave out leaflets outside the Rio in a bit of a blizzard

It’s one of several schemes Hackney Energy is looking at just now, including an offer to support a solar power scheme at a school near London Fields, a church in De Beauvoir, a private housing block in Shoreditch and, well, since there’s only one hospital in the borough, to power up the Homerton Hospital.

Some of these projects are in the early stages, so we’ll let you know more details when they are ready to go public. But we’re discussing them regularly at the Hackney Energy meetings, and we sincerely would welcome your support if you have some spare time – if you have skills in campaigning, media, fundraising or renewable technologies, then we’d welcome your support.

Last month, we ran a solar panel making workshop for residents on the Wilton Estate, jointly with the Wilton Estate tenants and residents association (Dalston). It not only helped show how the panels worked but opens up discussions about energy saving and the wider issue of tackling climate change by getting away from fossil fuels. We are still hoping that the council will see the light and support a solar power scheme on the estate’s flat rooftops.

On the Rio, we put up a stall and gave out leaflets outside the Rio in a bit of a blizzard – see photo, and over 50 people signed up to get more information. The idea is for a 15kw solar system on the large south facing roof, costing up to £40,000 including panels, batteries and scaffolding costs. The project will save 8,000 tonnes of carbon gas emissions per year by not using power from the national grid, which relies heavily on fossil fuels.

Next open meeting: Tuesday 10 April, 7pm, Wilton Estate tenants and residents’ association community hall, junction of Wilton Way and Greenwood Road E8.



O Solar Rio!

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