Thank you!!! We’ve raised £30,100 to fund solar panels at St. Anne’s Church

Last night we closed our first share offer 9 days early after being oversubscribed. We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has invested. This means we will be able to install 60 solar panels totalling 19kW at St. Anne’s in September. Find out more about the project here

What happens next?

We have agreed with local installers Joju solar that work will go ahead on the week commencing 12 September, so that we can have the panels connected and up and running by the 29 September deadline.

We will be organising a meetup to view the work being done, and a celebratory drink, during the installation. More information to follow!

All the best,

The PUNL team

Planning application for St. Anne’s Church approved!!

We are incredibly excited to announce that our planning application for a solar project at St. Anne’s Church has been approved by Camden Council!

After initially being told the application may be rejected, we are delighted that the planners reconsidered, taking the social and environmental benefits of the project into account and concluding that the project should go ahead. This certainly wouldn’t have happened with out the 100+ supporting comments we received from people in the local area- so THANK YOU to everyone who commented on the application!

Our next step is to raise £30,000 through a Community Share Offer, allowing you to invest in the project. Learn more and register your interest here

 

St Anne’s Church Planning Application

Our planning application for St Anne’s Church is now live and can be found here, application number 2016/1791/P . We would appreciate it if supporters of the project could comment on the consultation as we want to be sure that there is strong community support before taking a final decision to go ahead with the project.

After being awarded a grant from the Urban Community Energy Fund to cover feasibility costs for one or more solar projects in North London we began speaking to St. Anne’s Church in Highgate who were considering solar panels as part of a refurbishment project taking place at the Church. With the refurbishment the Church hopes to create more space for community activities including the Church’s successful community lunches and a youth project, meaning more daytime use when solar energy can be utilised. Given the potential benefits of solar to the Church and surrounding community we agreed in early 2016 to use some of our funding to explore the feasibility of a 19kW installation on the south facing roof.

Additional aims of the project are to:
• address the challenge of climate change and contribute to locally generated renewable energy for the benefit of the community
• raise awareness of environmental issues within the community
• contribute to long term aims of reducing the need for imported fossil fuel supply, increased local energy resilience, and community cohesion
The installation will provide discounted electricity prices for St Anne’s, which will benefit the funding for activities such as the weekly community lunches, and provide an estimated 16,500 kWh of clean energy per year, equating to 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This will contribute towards Camden Council’s 40% target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.

As the Church is listed and in a conservation area, a large part of this feasibility work has been putting together a planning application, which we submitted on 18th March 2016. The visual impact of the panels will be low as the south facing roof is obscured by foliage and buildings from most view points (see below pictures). The roof is most visible from St. Anne’s Close and we will be consulting individually with residents there.

To comment on the planning application, please follow the below steps:

  1. Click the link above or here
  2. Click ‘Add comments here’ in the Application Progress Summary box
  3. Follow the instructions on the next page and ‘Submit’

More information on the project can be found here.

Many thanks for your support!

 

… And they’re off! What are London’s Mayoral candidates promising on renewable energy?

Renewable energy has had a rough ride since May 2015 – so with Greenpeace recently reporting that London could generate 20% of its own energy from solar alone, we thought we’d take a look at what the leading four Mayoral candidates are promising to help us get there.

 Sadiq Khan, Labour

Part of Sadiq’s manifesto promise will be to make London a “low carbon beacon”. To do this, he will

  • Set a target for London to become a zero-carbon city by 2050 – this means running on 100% carbon free sources. Labour councils in 50 other cities have also made a 100% pledge.
  • Establish a not-for-profit company to provide “a comprehensive range of energy services to help Londoners generate more low-carbon energy and increase their energy efficiency, support local and community energy enterprises and buy clean energy generated across the city, using it to power GLA and TfL facilities.” This includes providing “advice and support to those wanting to set up community energy projects, and acting as a dating service for those wanting to be part of a community energy projects with commercial premises with space for solar panels.”
  • Purchase energy generated across London and use it to power public buildings and transport
  • Ban fracking in London
  • Produce a solar energy strategy for publically owned and TfL owned buildings
  • Ensure low carbon, energy efficiency and sustainability standards for new developments and increase renewable energy generation on social housing

 

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative

 

Zac Goldsmith has produced a fully costed “Living Environment Manifesto” for London which covers transport, housing, air pollution, and policing. On renewable energy, Zac promises to:

  • Source 25% of London’s energy from “low carbon sources” by 2025, with the aim of reaching 100% by 2050
  • Generate 10% of London’s energy from solar by 2025
  • Work with developers to include solar generation in new build flats and houses
  • Ensure that “large developments on publicly-owned land will come with solar panels by default.”
  • “Give community energy co-operatives the right to generate solar power from under-used public space, such as the roofs of bus stops and sports halls.”
  • “Help community energy co-ops set up their own green energy projects, with a new programme of ‘Solar Powered Estates’.”
  • Match community energy projects with investor finance
  • Set up a new clean energy company which will buy energy from low carbon generators across London and sell it to businesses and housing estates
  • Explore potential for building ultra-efficient homes capable of producing 75-100% of their energy

 

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats

In a noticeable departure from the other candidates’ manifestos, Caroline Pidgeon hasn’t officially announced any policies on renewables so far. Her campaign is focused heavily on housing and transport – an area in which she has made an impact as chair of the GLA Transport committee.

However, in The Green Alliance hustings earlier this month Pidgeon mentioned some previously unannounced policies of possibly introducing a London Feed-in Tariff, establishing a “solar task force” to audit the GLA’s property estate, and challenging large private organisations to adopt solar, especially on industrial estates.

 

Sian Berry, Green Party

Sian Berry has put forward the highest target for renewable energy generation of the candidates, pledging to set up a renewable energy company that will operate as a subsidiary of Transport for London which she says will deliver at least 30% of London’s energy needs from zero or low-carbon sources by 2030. The clean electricity generated will be used to power Crossrail.

According to Sian’s website the company would “start by putting solar panels up across TfL’s own 5,700-acre estate of stations, depots, offices, other commercial units and brownfield sites. It will go on to put them on large commercial roof spaces across the capital and on solar farms on London’s fringe, and it will work with community groups, the public sector and businesses to generate low-cost renewable energy from a variety of sources across the capital.”

 

Verdict

It’s great to see that Khan, Goldsmith and Berry have chosen to put renewable energy high on the agenda as they look towards City Hall. Being able to buy energy from local renewable sources to power public buildings or sell on to business is a model that could and should be replicated across major UK cities, as it is clear that at a national level the Government does not plan to include solar in its plans to fill the energy supply gap into the 2020s and beyond.

We will be keeping up to date with further announcements over next six weeks, but so far a big thumbs up to all candidates for taking solar in London seriously!

PUNL awarded £20k funding by Urban Community Energy Fund

The Power Up North London team is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £19,982 from the Urban Community Energy Fund to deliver two community energy projects in 2016.

The Urban Community Energy Fund is set up to fund feasibility costs for community energy projects in urban environments. It is funded through the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and is managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Pure Leapfrog.

Power Up North London is a joint project between Transition Dartmouth Park, Transition Tufnell Park and Transition Kentish Town. The Transition Towns movement in the UK aims to make communities stronger, greener and more self-reliant. Following in the steps of community groups in Brixton and Hackney, we will generate locally owned renewable energy and use the profits to benefit our community.

Our plan is to deliver one small and one large solar project in 2016 in North London and more details on these projects will be published as they develop.

PUNL will use the £19,982 provided by UCEF to kickstart these projects. We will partner with a local solar installer to perform detailed feasibility studies to find out the solar capacity of potential roofs. We will also begin the planning permission process and partner with legal experts to set up our precedent and project-specific legal documents. In addition to that we will be refreshing our website and undertaking further community consultation to get a broader view of what our community needs when it comes to social, financial and environmental impact. Get in touch now if you have any views on this that you want to share with us! All of this support will help us tighten up our financial models and create a credible business plan. This grant money will enable us to reach a position where we can launch our share offer where we will ask you, our community, to invest in the capital costs of our projects, becoming investors in your community and owners of clean, local power generation.

Power Up North London now has a working group of around 20 people working on our first projects. There is a huge amount of exciting work for us to do over the next few months, so if you are passionate about climate change and community enterprise, we would love you to get in touch, come along to meetings, and help us to bring real positive change to North London.

Get in touch on powerupnorthlondon@gmail.com