Welcome to our May 2021 Newsletter

Dear DCE newsletter subscribers – a special welcome to new subscribers.
In this issue:

  • Opportunity for Project Managers – apply by 1st June 
  • This year’s AGM – Monday 12th July, 7pm on Zoom
  • DCE Community Fund – open for applications – apply by 31st July
  • 3rd Share Offer – 700kW all installed.
  • 3rd Share Offer Reopened and CLOSED within 10 days!

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



Opportunity for Project Managers – please apply by 1st June

DCE anticipates a programme of works for the next few years, and would like to have three or four Project Managers on board, and so has decided to set up a flexible Project Management Framework, so that we can call on these skills as and when we wish to develop new projects.  

Read more


Early notification of AGM Monday 12th July 7pm

This year’s AGM will be held by Zoom at 7pm on Monday 12th July at 7pm. In addition to the formal AGM there will be presentations and questions on our latest projects which include almost 500kW of solar panels at Weymouth College and the innovative Energy Local Bridport project. Energy Local Bridport will be the first example in England of local renewable energy generation supplied directly to householders through the existing grid.  The formal AGM papers and a Zoom meeting joining link will be emailed to all members 3 weeks before the AGM.

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Community Fund – open for applications  – apply by 31st July 

The Community Fund is currently open to support projects that aim to reduce carbon emissions and or address fuel poverty. They may also include local food, sustainable transport or waste reduction, and any other activity which reduces carbon emissions. The project must be located with the geographical area of the Dorset and BCP councils. The application must be on behalf of a community; self-help or voluntary group; a community enterprise or a charity. Applications should be in the range of £500 to £1500.

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3rd Share Offer completed all 700kW installed 

In May 2019, DCE raised £445,000 to support the installation of 700kW of roof mounted solar panels on schools and hospitals in Dorset. These installations were supported by a 40% grant from Low Carbon Dorset, making the total value £729,080. The installations were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, however the final installation was completed in April 2021, bringing DCE’s total portfolio to 1100kWp, across twenty- two locations, including: schools, community buildings and hospitals.

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3rd Share Offer Reopened and Closed!

DCE reopened its 3rd Share Offer on the 10th May, to raise a further £194,418 to install 467kWp of rooftop solar at three more sites.  These shares were offered firstly to ‘Over-Subscribers’ from our 2019 Share Offer, and secondly to our existing members.  The share offer was open from 10th May until the target was reached – which was 21st May.  Thank you to those of you who purchased shares.  

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Opportunity for Project Managers – apply by 1st June 2021

DCE is a Community Benefit Society set up in 2013 with the aim of increasing the deployment of renewable energy in Dorset with community benefits. Our current portfolio includes 22 community-financed solar PV installations on schools, hospitals and community buildings (total installed capacity 1,100kW) with an income from FITS, and more recently from selling generated electricity at a discounted rate to the building hosts.

In addition, Dorset Community Energy has recently completed a feasibility study into direct supply through the grid of solar electricity from one or more 250kW ground-mounted solar PV arrays to householders and businesses in Bridport. It is an innovative project working with Energy Local CIC and Octopus Energy – the first of its kind in England (there are several examples in Wales).

DCE anticipates a programme of works for the next few years and therefore the directors have decided to set up a flexible Project Management Framework of 3-4 companies that we can call on when new projects come forward. i.e. following preliminary work by the directors, a company on the framework will be offered a potential PV installation to develop.

There is no obligation- if the company cannot accept the offer at the time due to other commitments the offer will be passed to a second company on the framework. The procurement exercise started by this document is therefore for prospective project managers/ companies or consultants to apply to be included on the DCE Project Management Framework based on their experience, knowledge and day rate.

Full details and how to apply.

Early notification of AGM Monday 12th July 7pm

This year’s AGM will be held by Zoom at 7pm on Monday 12th July at 7pm. In addition to the formal AGM there will be presentations and questions on our latest projects which include almost 500kW of solar panels at Weymouth College and the innovative Energy Local Bridport project. Energy Local Bridport will be the first example in England of local renewable energy generation supplied directly to householders through the existing grid.  The formal AGM papers and a Zoom meeting joining link will be emailed to all members 3 weeks before the AGM.

DCE Community Fund – open for applications – apply by 31st July 2021

The Community Fund is currently open to support projects that aim to reduce carbon emissions and or address fuel poverty. They may also include local food, sustainable transport or waste reduction, and any other activity which reduces carbon emissions. The project must be located with the geographical area of the Dorset and BCP councils. The application must be on behalf of a community, self-help or voluntary group, a community enterprise or a charity. Applications should be in the range of £500 to £1500.

Dorset Community Fund Criteria

Dorset Community Fund Application Form

DCE’s 3rd Share Offer installations bring total installed capacity to 1100kWp

In May 2019, DCE raised £445,000 to support the installation of 700kW of roof mounted solar panels on schools and hospitals in Dorset. These installations were supported by a 40% grant from Low Carbon Dorset, making the total value £729,080. The installations were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, however the final installation was completed in April 2021, bringing DCE’s total portfolio to 1100kWp, across twenty- two locations, including: schools, community buildings and hospitals.

Bridport community hospital cropped

DCE 3rd Share Offer Reopened and Closed!

DCE reopened its 3rd Share Offer on the 10th May, to raise a further £194,418 to install 467kWp of rooftop solar at three more sites.  These shares were offered firstly to ‘Over-Subscribers’ from our 2019 Share Offer, and secondly to our existing members.  The share offer was open from 10th May until the target was reached – which was 21st May.  Thank you to all those who purchased shares. Further information available here

Welcome to our November 2020 Newsletter

Dear DCE newsletter subscribers – a special welcome to new subscribers.
In this issue:

  • 3rd Share Offer update – On track to complete all 700kW by March 2021
  • Adding ground-mounted PV to Energy Local Bridport
  • Asset Manager update

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



3rd Share Offer update – on track to install 700kW by March 2021

Since our last newsletter in May, and despite the Covid-19 complications, we have installed and commissioned further sites: All Saints, at Weymouth in May, Beaminster School in September, and our first Dorset Community Healthcare site, Bridport Community Hospital was commissioned on 29th October.

Read more


Adding ground-mounted PV to Energy Local Bridport

Due to the extent of interest in this project, projected customer demand exceeds the current renewable energy supply of the 50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash.  DCE therefore secured funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund for a feasibility study to identify sites for two 200kW ground-mounted solar PV arrays to provide additional local renewable electricity.  Two sites have already been identified and work is underway to determine the exact build costs and likelihood of planning permission.  We also have a third site earmarked as back-up. 

Read more


Asset Manager

A big thank you to Pete West who to date has been acting as Asset Manager for our installations, and is now stepping down from this role.  We have received four applications for the recently advertised post and will be looking to select shortly. 

3rd Share Offer update – on track to install 700kW by March 2021

Since our last newsletter in May, and despite the Covid-19 complications, we have installed and commissioned further sites: All Saints, at Weymouth in May, Beaminster School in September, and our first Dorset Community Healthcare site, Bridport Community Hospital was commissioned on 29th October.

We are especially pleased to have been able to progress installations with Dorset Healthcare despite the pandemic, many thanks to all those at Dorset Healthcare who enabled this.

In summary, we have completed and commissioned 455kW at five sites, have a further 188kW as works in progress at three sites, and are following up further potential sites to deliver the final 57kW.

Complete (455kW)  
All Saints School, Weymouth61kWMay 2020
Beaminster School112kWAugust 2020
Bridport Community Hospital99kWOctober 2020
The Blandford School85kWFebruary 2020
Wey Valley School, Weymouth97kWFebruary 2020
In progress (188kW)  
Alderney Hospital97kWExpected November 2020
Blandford Community Hospital50kWExpected November 2020
Sturrminster Newton High School41kWTBC

Adding ground-mounted PV to Energy Local Bridport

Due to the extent of interest in this project, projected customer demand exceeds the current renewable energy supply of the 50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash.  DCE therefore secured funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund for a feasibility study to identify sites for two 200kW ground- mounted PV arrays to provide additional local renewable electricity.  Two sites have already been identified and work is underway to determine the exact build costs and likelihood of planning permission.  We also have a third site earmarked as back-up. 

Example of a 1-acre solar array as proposed in the Energy Local Bridport solar feasibility study
Example of a 1 acre solar array as proposed by Energy Local Bridport

Unfortunately due to the pandemic, there has been a delay in households having smart meters fitted, and in Octopus Energy developing and piloting the bespoke metering and billing system.  This has meant that the club set up to trade the electricity from the existing turbine has not yet started operating. Energy Local Bridport are continuing to work closely with Octopus Energy to ensure progress on the project, and we expect operation to begin in the next few months. .    

Asset Manager

A big thank you to Pete West who to date has been acting as Asset Manager for our installations, and is now stepping down from this role.  We have received four applications for the recently advertised post and will be looking to select shortly.