BSR Group managing community-owned solar park
The community of Wedmore in Somerset owns its own 1MW solar park which generates a large proportion of its electricity needs from the 4,000 solar panels. British Solar Renewables (BSR) O&M team, a key division of the BSR Group, operates and manages the solar park as part of a scheme which has brought huge benefits to the local community.
In 2016, BSR O&M was selected to operate and manage the park. Wedmore Community Power Co-operative Chairman Steve Mewes said: “The service we have received from BSR O&M from the beginning has been impeccable. The company is quick to respond to queries, deals sensitively with our landlords, and maintains our facilities to a very high standard. They have also been very supportive of our community-based non-profit status.”
The village of Wedmore is just one of many communities that have successfully demonstrated how communities can benefit from taking control of their energy generation.
Wedmore Community Power Co-operative Ltd was founded in 2013 with the aim of reducing the community’s reliance on fossil fuel energy. By selling shares, it raised £1.1 million to build the park of almost 4,000 photovoltaic panels.
The project has paid healthy returns to more than 150 investors, most of whom live in the local area. In addition, it is expected to distribute grants of more than £600,000 over the project’s lifetime. So far, beneficiaries range from the local Samaritans group to the village hall. And as one of the first community-owned solar parks in South West England, the project has continued to inspire other community groups.
As a company, BSR Group is keen to support the many community energy projects around the UK. We have built up a lot of expertise to support these groups since the operations and maintenance (O&M) arm of the company was founded in 2012.
BSR O&M currently manages a portfolio of 460MW with 48 solar parks across the UK, nearly 6% of the country’s utility-scale solar power, including the three biggest parks in the country. By maintaining relative scale within a growing market, BSR O&M has developed in-house technical and performance optimisation specialisms that provide its customers with increased insight and value. In addition to immediate O&M requirements, the team seeks to understand and mitigate the long-term issues that will impact performance and value.
Find out more about what BSR Group’s Operations & Maintenance team offers here.