Congratulations Pete West!

Dorset Community Energy Secretary and Director, Pete West, has been short-listed for a Regen: Celebrating Innovation Green Energy Award, for his work in setting up Dorset Community Energy.  He’ll get to find out if he is selected at the awards ceremony in Bath Assembly Rooms on 28th November 2017.  The awards ceremony is held the night before the Renewable Futures conference on 29th November 2017.

Here is what Regen say about Pete:

“Pete West has been instrumental in the establishment of Dorset Community Energy, a not-for-profit community benefit society, set up in August 2013. By 2015, the society had raised £488,000 of local community investment from 150 mainly local shareholders, to finance 12 solar PV installations on schools and four PV installations on community buildings of a total installed capacity of 420 kW.”

Congratulations Pete!



Dorset Climate Change Conference 21st October in Weymouth

Organised by: Transition Town Weymouth & Portland (TTW&P)

Objectives: To inform and promote action. Challenge politicians to take action

  • Climate change science
  • What needs to be done
  • Parties’ policies and actions:

Conservatives: James Farqueson, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council 
Greens: Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader Green Party
: Lee Rhodes, Parliamentary Candidate for W Dorset
Liberal Democrats: David Harris, Dorset CC for Weymouth
Continue reading “Dorset Climate Change Conference 21st October in Weymouth”

2016-17 solar electricity generation has exceeded estimates

All 16 Dorset Community Energy solar PV installations have now been installed for 12 months or more, so it is possible to view annual total electricity generation data and compare it with initial estimates. The performance to date has been 5% higher than original estimates- which is good news for schools and members.

All 16 sites with Dorset Community Energy solar PV installations are fitted with solar generation meters that can be read remotely online, which is a great help when submitting quarterly Feed-in Tariff meter readings. We have prepared a summary of the annual generation data which can be viewed here.

The table clearly shows the benefit of having a large portfolio of 16 sites in different locations. As can be seen, the solar generation at Thomas Hardye School was lower than estimated due to a complex problem with the solar inverter software settings, which was finally successfully corrected in March 2017. There was also reduced generation for a time at Lytchett Matravers Primary School due to some solar panels needing to be temporarily removed and replaced during chimney work on the roof.

However, the solar generation at all other sites was higher than estimated, with south- facing roofs near the coast performing particularly well. The average annual generation across all sites was 1000kWh of solar electricity/ per kW of installed solar panels, which is higher than nationally accepted solar estimates, and especially good as some sites don’t have directly south–facing roof orientation. Perhaps ‘sunny Dorset’ is justified!

Interest payments to members in early September

Following acceptance of the Dorset Community Energy Annual Accounts at the AGM held on 12th July and approval of the directors’ recommendation to pay members 5.5% interest, payments to members were completed by 9th September. The directors are optimistic that the target 5%-6% p.a. interest on members’ shares will be maintained in future years, subject to no unforeseen circumstances.

Educational activities – connecting the climate.

Bridport primary school global citizenship image

Dorset Community Energy secretary, Pete West, and Dorset County Council’s Sustainable Schools Project Officer, Alison Jay, met with local educational charity Development Education in Dorset (DEED) in July to develop a sustainable energy and climate change funding application to the Scottish Power Foundation. The project was named ‘Climate Connections’ and is based on sharing information on climate change and sustainable energy solutions between schools in Africa and in Dorset. DEED was set up in 1983 as a centre for global education and learning. They have worked with over 1000 teachers and 350 pupils in Dorset and Hampshire over the last year and have extensive experience of teacher training.

Continue reading “Educational activities – connecting the climate.”

International co-operation

Following the Paris Climate Agreement, evidence of rising global CO2 emissions and impacts of climate change, it is widely becoming accepted that ‘we are all in this together’. In February the directors agreed that Dorset Community Energy joins the International Network for Sustainable Energy (INFORSE), an NGO network which was established at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and currently has 75 member organisations in 35 European countries and 180 member organisations globally.

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Newsletter September 2017

Welcome to our September newsletter

The sun has been shining in Dorset – we have generated 5% more electricity than expected and members’ interest payments have been made this month.  We’re also hoping to link up children in our schools, with children at schools in African countries who also have PV – for educational activities about sustainable energy. And get inspired and updated at the Dorset Climate Change conference in Weymouth in October.

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

Continue reading “Newsletter September 2017”

Dorset Community Energy – 2017 AGM

Members at 2017 AGM
Members at 2017 AGM

The AGM was held on 12th July 2017 at the Wessex Royale Hotel in Dorchester. It was chaired by Tom Burnett, as Tim Crabtree was unable to attend due to work commitments. There were 14 members present including directors.

Pete West presented a director’s report: DCE now have 16 completed roof mounted solar installations totalling 420kW capacity, which have generated 550,000kWh to date. These installations are providing an annual community benefit of £30,000 in reduced electricity bills to the buildings with solar panels installed and an annual income of  approximately £60,000 used to repay members capital and interest, insurance, maintenance and administration costs.

At the AGM, members voted to pay 5.5% interest to shareholders, this will be paid by 9th September. Members also agreed the accounts, and re-elected Derek Moss and Henry Lovegrove as directors. Jenny Shackleford stepped down as director due to other commitments and was thanked for her contribution.

Following the AGM – Alison Jay shared updated members on educational activities, and Emily Bullock shared the DCE website.

Education presentation

AGM minutes