Solar power generation starts at The Beacon and Westbank – new ECOE loans coming soon

Solar power generation starts at The Beacon and Westbank – new ECOE loans coming soon

A small section of ECOE's new installation at Westbank

A small section of ECOE’s new installation at Westbank

Here’s some positive news amid the gloom. ECOE is successfully generating electricity at two new sites – The Beacon Community Centre on Beacon Lane, and Westbank in Exminster. We got the formal installation certificate for the 29.9kW project at The Beacon on February 12. We then got the certificate for the 45.9kW project at Westbank on March 12, just before the Prime Minister’s statement on COVID-19 on March 16. The sites are generating, and we have started the process of registering them for feed-in-tariff subsidy and export income. This brings ECOE’s total portfolio now to 10 sites, with 484kW peak generation output capacity.

However, we still have a few jobs to do, which are now on hold due to COVID-19. The most significant is legal work. While we have the permissions needed to do the installations, some formalities are yet to be completed. For Westbank, it should be possible to complete these as soon as the site’s solicitors return to their office, as the paperwork is complete. For The Beacon we need a piece of paperwork from Devon County Council, which is understandably busy dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. We also have to install generation displays and extra meters to monitor site performance.

ECOE paid for the project with an interest-free bridging loan, but will now be looking to raise funds from its members to pay that back. We are planning short-term loans paying 4% interest, for a total of around £70,000. We will renew these regularly until we pay them off completely. If you are interested in this opportunity please email ECOE director Andy Extance andy@ecoe.org.uk and he’ll tell you more.

ECOE director and solar PV3 project manager Andy Extance with the installation at The Beacon Community Centre

ECOE director and solar PV3 project manager Andy Extance with the installation at The Beacon Community Centre