Start-up grant for Greater Manchester Community Renewables

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GMCR is a community benefit society set up to develop and operate community-owned renewable energy projects across Greater Manchester. The group raised £186,000 via a community share offer in summer 2016, which funded the installation of solar panels on three schools in Salford and a community centre in Partington. In the first year of operation, the panels generated c. 100MWh, enough clean electricity to save around 45 tonnes of CO2.

They enable schools and community buildings Sites to save money on their electricity bills and receive support towards using the panels as an educational resource. Members of the community who buy shares receive annual interest payments and surplus profits will go into a community fund to support carbon reduction, energy efficiency and environmental education projects in the local area.

GMCR planned another round of solar installations for summer 2018. Before they could launch the community share offer to raise money for more solar installations, GMCR needed to check the suitability of potential sites are e.g. by commissioning a structural survey of the roof, and doing legal due diligence on the properties before they enter into a lease of the roof. The Naturesave Trust helped towards these development costs.

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