Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Shares on sale for Edinburgh solar project

Gylemuir Primary School pupils at a solar panel Pic: Lisa Summers

Residents in Edinburgh are being asked to buy into a major community owned solar energy project.

People are being encouraged to buy shares in a solar co-operative to power public buildings. The minimum purchase is £250 per person.

If the project raises enough money to install panels on all sites, it will be the UK's largest community-owned urban renewables scheme.

It aims to save a thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

Although the panels will be put on council buildings the scheme is being run by the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op.

National grid

Once complete it should generate enough green energy to build a £1m community fund.

It is hoped the scheme will see 25 of the city's schools, community and leisure centres become solar powered.

Investors should receive a return on their money with any excess energy being sold to the national grid.

Edinburgh council has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland and co-op chairman, said: "This share offer is a great way for residents of Edinburgh - and beyond - to become part owner of a renewable energy scheme.

"Anyone in Scotland, in fact anyone in the UK, can apply to buy shares, but preference will be given to people living within the city of Edinburgh Council area.

"In total we are looking to raise £1.4m, and if the offer is, as we hope, oversubscribed, Edinburgh folk will be first in line.

"Every co-op member is projected to receive a return of five per cent on their shares, and any surplus the co-op generates will go towards a Community Benefit Fund which will support new sustainable energy projects across the city."

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