Community Energy Birmingham has so far raised £50,000 towards its £65,000 target which if achieved will see four sets of sunlight catching panels fitted to the Moseley Exchange , a creative workshop space, and the Ackers Adventure centre in Small Heath.
And it is looking for investors, who it says can expect regular dividends and a return over the next 20 years, to push the project across the finishing line.
The co-operative was set up by green activists from Moseley, Kings Heath, Balsall Heath, Bordesley Green, Small Heath and Erdington to give local people more of a stake in generating the energy that keeps their homes and neighbourhoods running.
It has already fitted some energy-saving solar panels to the rooftops of the Ackers Adventure centre and Moseley Exchange and hopes to increase the number cutting bills further. It will also raise money by selling surplus energy back to the National Grid.
Chairwoman Claire Spencer, who is also councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath, said: “Neighbourhood-based, community-owned renewable energy is how our cities will run in a clean, green future.”
She said that while the Government has cut back on investment in green energy they aim to prove that communities can do it without help.
“We are really pleased that citizens from across Birmingham have invested into these projects with such enthusiasm, and hope that others will join them to get us over the line.
“We have been led by the needs of our community partners. So for Ackers Adventure, the trick was to find a way for them to use as much of the electricity as possible, which we have done by adding a hot water storage device to the installation.
“This means that any electricity they cannot use is automatically diverted into heating the water for the showers in the residential block”.
Kelvin Staple, Project Manager at Ackers Adventure, said: “CEB has really helped us to advance our plans for a zero carbon facility, and at much greater speed than we would have been able to manage working alone. The fact that people who live nearby and have used Ackers for years – as children, parents and teachers – have the ability to invest into the scheme, is a real bonus for us”.
If you would like to invest, visit the CEB website communityenergybirmingham.coop for a full details.