We’re in the News – with a £20k grant for development of solar PV

DCE have secured a £20k grant to develop solar photovoltaic generation in and around Bridport as prt of our Energy Local Bridport project.

A scheme to increase the supply of renewable energy to people in Bridport has taken a big step forward with a £20,000 grant to Dorset Community Energy.

This solar panel project builds on the success of an initiative launched in January by Dorset Community Energy which aims to supply up to 60 Bridport homes with locally generated renewable energy from a wind turbine. Offering green energy at 9.5p a kWh, the Energy Local Bridport scheme has been heavily oversubscribed and still has 40 households on the waiting list.

Read the full article in the Bridport News here.

Bridport News features DCE in Community Energy Fortnight

June 13th to June 28th was Community Energy Fortnight, which aims to celebrate community energy and to support community energy groups across the country to learn from one another. Bridport News – featured an article about Energy Local Bridport and Dorset Community Energy.

A community group will be celebrated for setting up renewable energy sources across the county over the next two weeks for ‘Community Energy Fortnight’.

June 13 to June 28 is Community Energy Fortnight, aimed at celebrating community energy and helping community energy groups across the country learn from each other.

One such group is Energy Local Bridport, a project to allow local trading of renewable energy and increase the value of the generation, which was set up by Dorset Community Energy (DCE).

Read the full article here.

3rd Share Offer update – Nearly 200kW installed.

solar pv on roof of Wey Valley School

Unfortunately the progress on our new installations for our 3rd Share Offer has been delayed by a number of factors including the weather and corona virus.

We have however two complete installations: Wey Valley School (photographed) and Blandford School installed in February. These are installed and generating electricity. Installation has also commenced at All Saints school with an expected completion date of end of May.

A full update has been sent to those with shares in our 3rd Share Offer, and there is also an update on our 3rd Share Offer page.

90 Households expressed interest in Energy Local Bridport

Energy Local Bridport logo

Following a grant awarded from the Power to Change Bright Ideas Fund last October, Dorset Community Energy launched the Energy Local Bridport project in early January in partnership with Energy Local CIC and Octopus Energy. Previously all our projects have been based of supplying renewable electricity to schools and community buildings, but Energy Local Bridport aims to be the first example in England of locally generated renewable electricity supplied to households using the existing grid.

Energy Local Bridport will initially supply wind power from the existing 50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash @ 9.5p/ kWh to 50-60 households in the Western Power Distribution Bridport sub-station area. Octopus Energy provides a backup supply when the wind turbine is not generating sufficient power to meet demand.

The level of interest exceeded expectations with over 90 households completing expressions of interest within 2 weeks of the project launch. A new co-operative, Energy Local Bridport Limited, has been set up representing all householders to enable a contract to be signed with Octopus Energy. However the project is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic as participating households need to have smart meters fitted to enable Octopus Energy to meter the local renewable energy supply and invoice at the lower cost. Smart meter installations are currently on hold until the coronavirus risk is reduced.

Dorset Community Energy is hoping to expand the project by adding 200kW- 400kW of ground mounted solar panels to complement the wind energy generation and allow more households and small businesses to join the scheme and benefit from cheaper local renewable energy generation.

Go to the Energy Local Bridport page.

Funding success! – Grant from The Naturesave Trust to support the Wessex Community Energy Network

WCEN event Bath Feb 2020

Dorset Community Energy (DCE) was one of the founder members of the Wessex Community Energy Network (WCEN), set up 2 years ago to enable community energy groups in the Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Bath and Bristol areas to meet up to share experience. 

Currently DCE’s Finance Director Henry Lovegrove, and Secretary Pete West are supporting WCEN, with the network managed by volunteers. But DCE has recently secured a grant from The Naturesave Trust, which will enable the WCEN to employ professional help to upgrade and maintain their website, and provide training for volunteer members. This will enhance ability to share information on community energy between the 21 WCEN member organisations and the wider public.

Naturesave Trust logo

The Naturesave Trust is funded by the activities of Naturesave Insurance, the UK’s leading ethical insurance provider for individuals, businesses, charities and community groups.

Dorset Community Energy solar generation in 2019 above target again – saving our sites £35,000

DCE is delighted to report another successful 12 months of electricity generation, our existing 16 sites generated 434,000kWh of electricity in 2019, around 7.5% above the amounts predicted in the share offer documents.  This means that average generation is slightly over 1000kWh per kW installed which is particularly positive as not all installations are facing due south.  And our sites saved almost £35,000 on their electiricty bills.

Welcome to our May 2020 Newsletter

It’s been a while since our last newsletter – a special welcome to new subscribers.

In this issue:

  • AGM – Save the date – 15th September  – Blandford Forum
  • 3rd Share Offer update – Nearly 200kW installed
  • 90 Households have expressed interest in Energy Local Bridport
  • Funding success for Wessex Community Energy Network
  • DCE solar generation in 2019 above target again

Best wishes from DCE Directors: Derek, Emily, Henry, Pete, Tim, and Tom



Save the date for our AGM – 15th September 2020

We are planning to hold this year’s AGM in Blandford at the Crown Hotel at 7pm, assuming that such meetings are possible by then.  We will of course keep all our members informed in advance and move it to an online meeting if necessary.



3rd Share Offer update – Nearly 200kW installed

Progress on the installations for our third share offer has been slower than expected, but we have two installations complete and commissioned: in Blandford and Weymouth and another one in progress.

Read more



90 households have expressed interest in Energy Local Bridport

Energy Local Bridport will enable local people to purchase electricity from an existing 50kW wind turbine in Salway Ash, this will benefit the owner of the turbine and those buying electricity, as the price is higher than the owner normally gets from selling to the grid, and lower than that buyers normally pay.

Read more



Funding success – DCE secures grant for Wessex Community Energy Network

DCE has secured a grant from The Naturesave Trust which will enable Wessex Community Energy Network to update and maintain their website, and train more volunteers.

Read more



DCE solar generation in 2019 above target again.

DCE generated 434,000kWh of electricity last year, around 7.5% above the amounts predicted in share offer documents.  This generation saved our sites £35,000.

Read more

Welcome to our October 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our newsletter, especially if you are one of the 50 new subscribers since our last May newsletter.

We have been busy with our most recent share offer, so thank you if you invested, you can get an update below, and also read about:

  • Community Engagement vacancy for Bridport / Salway Ash Energy Local project
  • Bridport / Salway Ash Energy Local project – connecting local renewable energy producers with consumers 
  • 3rd Share Offer update
  • Climate change presentation at Atlantic Academy Portland 
  • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) to launch as replacement to Feed-In-Tariff

best wishes from DCE Directors: Derek, Emily, Henry, Pete,Tim, and Tom


Community Engagement vacancy for Bridport / Salway Ash Energy Local project 

Dorset Community Energy (DCE) is excited to have been awarded funding for an Energy Local project which aims to link local providers of renewable electricity with customers, at a reasonable price for both.  We will be recruiting a Community Engagement Coordinator for 10 days of paid work at £20 per hour.

Read more


Bridport / Salway Ash Energy Local project – connecting local renewable energy producers with consumers

If you live in Salway Ash or near a solar farm or wind turbine you may have wondered  whether you could buy the electricity generated and use it in your house.  Currently this isn’t possible with generators forced to sell to the grid for around 5p per unit, and customers to buy from the grid for around 15p per unit.  

Dorset Community Energy is excited to have been awarded a £10,000 development grant from the Power to Change Bright Ideas Fund to pilot a new business model which will enable the supply of local renewable electricity to householders through the existing grid at a mid-price benefitting both householder and owners of local renewable energy plant.

Read more


3rd Share Offer update

A special welcome and thank you to readers who have invested in our 3rd Share Offer.  We are delighted to have reached our target of £445,000 enabling installation of an additional 700kW of solar photovoltaic panels.  The first installation will be 100kW at the Wey Valley Academy. Work will be commenced during the Autumn half-term and completed during Spring half-term. We are also aiming to install a further 3 sites in 2019.

Read more


Climate change presentation at Atlantic Academy Portland

DCE director and secretary Pete West was invited to give a presentation on climate change to 100 Year 7 pupils at the Atlantic Academy Portland, Pete talked about personal actions and solutions to the climate crisis and the importance of improved government policies.  

Read more


Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) to launch as replacement to Feed-In-Tariff

Government to launch Smart Export Guarantee in January 2020 in place of revoked Feed-In-Tariff.

Read more