Energy Local Bridport

Dorset Community Energy are working hard to bring Energy Local Clubs to Dorset.

Energy Local Bridport logo

Energy Local Clubs are a pioneering initiative developed by the not-for-profit organisation Energy Local CIC. Energy Local Clubs enable trading of renewable energy between generators and consumers at a local level.

The Bridport Club will initially allow householders in the Bridport area to purchase the electricity generated by the 50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash.  If the Club is successful, we have plans to extend the Club by adding PV generation into the mix in Phase 2.


Directors-at-Ashlane-2-CROPPED

Energy Local Bridport is live!

Energy Local Bridport went live in September 2021. The Club started with a ‘mini Club’ of 14 households whilst we check that things are running smoothly. The mini Club has become the first Energy Local Club in England to start operating.

We are anticipating some teething problems, but once we are confident that the Club is operating well we will expand the Club to include all 55 households who have signed up.

Energy Local Bridport is a co-operative, registered with the FCA. The Directors of the co-op had their inaugural meeting on a suitably windy day at Ashlane Farm by the wind turbine.

It has taken us a long time to get to this point. The project was impacted heavily by COVID 19 and technical delays, so we are now very excited to see the Club starting to trade local renewable energy.


About the Bridport Club

Wind turbine blue sky clouds
50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash

Energy Local Clubs allow households to club together to show that they are using local renewable power when it is being generated, and to pay local generators a mutually beneficial price for that power. Read more about how it works in our Key Information Pack.

The generator for the Bridport Club is the 50kW wind turbine at Salway Ash, owned by Peter Bailey. Club members will pay a ‘match’ price of 9.5p/kWh for the wind energy when it is available.

Initially, the Club will have 50-60 member households. This number was arrived at after detailed modelling, and aims to strike a fair balance of financial benefits to participating households and healthy returns to the wind turbine.

The modelling suggests that each household will match approximately 10% of their electricity consumption with the wind generation, with an anticipated saving of 10-15% on their electricity bills over a year. Once the Club is operational, ongoing monitoring will assess actual benefits to members compare with those predicted.

The Bridport Club covers the geographical area supplied by the Bridport local substation. This incorporates the whole of Bridport town and the surrounding area from Chideock to Shipton Gorge, West Bay to Pymore and parts of Salway Ash. 

Read full details about the Bridport Club in our Key Information Pack.


Project history

Two community energy activists Bridport
Derek explaining Energy Local Bridport

Work on Energy Local Bridport began in December 2019, funded by development funding from the Power to Change Bright Ideas Fund. Since then Dorset Community Energy has been working closely with Peter Bailey and at Energy Local CIC to form the Club. This has included detailed modelling of the wind turbine output and domestic demand, creating the Energy Local Bridport Co-Operative and recruiting households from the Bridport area.

The public response to the launch of Energy Local in January 2020 was overwhelming. Within 6 weeks of launching, enough households had registered to form a Club, with a considerable waiting list. 

Unfortunately, setting up the Club had to pause when COVID-19 struck. Smart meter installations stopped during the first lockdown and there were delays while crucial software was developed.

As we head into 2021, we eagerly anticipate getting the Club up and running over the coming months. The first step will be to form a ‘mini’ Club with households with pre-existing smart meters. These households will test drive a new metering and billing system; as soon as this has been verified, we will look to bring all 60 participating households into the Club as swiftly as possible.


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

Future plans

Once established, Energy Local Bridport will represent a radical step forward local renewables. If this pilot scheme is successful, we have options for expanding the project further.

New generation could be added in a second phase. For example, Dorset Community Energy could fund and build a ground-mounted PV array, creating additional capacity to supply households or businesses with low-cost solar energy during the daytime. Read about our plans for Phase 2.


Get involved

The pilot Club is currently over-subscribed. However, by signing up below you can join the waiting list and receive notification when future Energy Local opportunities arise.

Further information

Please visit the Bridport Club page or email alison@dorsetcommunityenergy.org.uk.