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

Dorset Community Energy seeks Community Engagement Co-ordinator for 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, read more here.

Pete West, DCE secretary and director will be managing the Salway Ash/ Bridport local electricity supply pilot project on a voluntary basis.  DCE wish to recruit a Community Engagement Co-ordinator for approximately 10 days of paid work at £20 per hour on a self-employed basis.

The purpose of the role will be to promote the project to householders in the Salway Ash area using marketing materials supplied by Energy Local (which may need to be adapted). If you are interested checik out the Energy Local website for background information.

Essential requirements for the role include experience of community engagement/ marketing or communications and computer literacy (PowerPoint, Word, data management etc). A desirable requirement is an interest in environmental issues/ renewable energy/ the local economy.

In addition the appointee will need to be available for a training day in Bridport with Energy Local from 10:00am- 4:00pm on Wednesday 6th November.

Promotional activities are planned to start in Salway Ash in January and a community engagement plan and promotion materials will need to be developed in Nov / Dec / early January.

Anyone interested in the vacancy should e-mail a CV and covering letter to Pete West pete@dorsetcommunityenergy.org.uk  or phone Pete on 07532 339582 if you would like further information. As this is a relatively small contract applications will be considered as received on a rolling basis.

More about the Salway Ash / Bridport Energy Local project

Dorset Community Energy to start innovative pilot project in January

People who live in Salway Ash may have wondered if they could buy the electricity generated by the solar panels on the roof of the village hall, or the nearby wind turbine.

Currently any unused electricity from the wind turbine or solar panels is sold by the owners to the national grid for approximately 5p/kWh, whereby the grid sells it back to customers for around 15p/kWh. 

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.  We will be working closely with award-winning consultants Energy Local, who will provide training and set up the metering and billing arrangements between those generating renewable energy and local households who wish to purchase the electricity.   Energy Local will set up the contractual arrangements with a licenced electricity supplier (e.g. Octopus Energy) to ensure households have electricity whether or not the solar panels / wind turbine are generating. 

The video illustrates one such scheme  already operating in Bethesda, N. Wales, which supplies electricity from a 100kW hydro generator to local households at approx. 9p/kWh, so both householders and the generator benefit and money is retained in the local economy.

The DCE project will be developed in 2 stages:

1)  Local renewable electricity supply to householders in the Salway Ash area from the existing 50kW wind turbine owned by local farmer Peter Bailey together with export from the 16kW DCE solar PV installation on Salway Ash village hall.

2) Researching the options for Dorset Community Energy to develop, finance and operate a new ground mounted solar array of approximately 200kW (requiring 2000 m2 of land or half an acre) close to Bridport and directly supplying households in Bridport through the same business model as developed in Salway Ash.

DCE are recruiting for a Community Engagement co-ordinator for this role. Read more