UK’s largest community-owned urban solar farm starts generating power in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op opening with Richard Dixon and Cllr Lesley Hinds (right). Photograph: Colin Hattersley.
Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op opening with Chairman Richard Dixon (second left) and Cllr Lesley Hinds (right). Photograph: Colin Hattersley.

The UK’s largest community-owned urban solar farm has started to generate electricity from its location at a special school in Edinburgh.

The Oaklands school is the second building in the city to get solar panels as part of the UK’s largest community-owned urban solar farm – and is the first to be producing continuous power to the grid.
The scheme, which was launched last autumn, successfully raised nearly £1.5 million from members of the public to put panels up on up to 25 buildings owned by the local council – with future profits pledged to community projects across the capital.
Solar co-op chair Richard Dixon and Councillor Lesley Hinds were both on hand to celebrate the panels going live, along with co-op board member Johanna Carrie and pupils from the school.
Dixon said: “This is a tremendous milestone for the scheme and meets our dual ambitions of generating green energy and a new income stream for the benefit of community projects.
“Oaklands School forms part of a programme that will be rolled out throughout the summer with completion planned for September.
“The project is wholly owned by the public and will help Edinburgh generate significant quantities of green energy. We hope this scheme gives encouragement to others to take on similar ambitious initiatives.“
Cllr. Hinds, Environment Convener and Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative board member, added:“This is a fantastic project and I’m delighted to see Oaklands as one of the first to gain from it, and the many environmental and economic benefits solar energy can bring.
“In Edinburgh we are constantly striving to reduce carbon emissions and the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op will help us to achieve our ambitious target of reducing the city’s emissions by 42% by 2020.”

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