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InsightWorking with Brixton Energy & Repowering London to install Powervaults in Brixton

This project saw the installation of a community-owned 52kWp solar PV system on the deprived Roupell Park Estate in Brixton, London. Powervault, Brixton Energy and Repowering London are working together to apply for funding from M&S Community Energy to install Powervault’s innovative battery storage technology and maximise the use of clean solar energy generated on-site, even when the sun isn’t shining, and to create additional benefits for the local community.In 2013 a group of local people came together to create Brixton Energy Solar 3 (BES3).

BES3 delivers Power To, For and By the people. This project not only generates clean electrical energy but also social energy that brings people together and creates opportunities for communities to flourish. In the three years since the project began, BES3 have:

  • purchased and installed 200 solar panels using £64,500 raised via a community share offer. This money was raised predominantly from local investors who will continue to receive a healthy return on their investment for the 20-year life of the project.
  • generated around 40,000kWh each year – enough to power 12 homes.
  • given 10 young people from the estate the opportunity to complete Repowering London’s unique 30-week paid internship programme.
  • avoided over 18 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, the equivalent of driving 58,500 miles (almost 2.5 times round the earth!)
  • delivered energy efficiency workshops, home energy audits and energy efficiency measures to help tackle fuel poverty in this deprived inner-city community.
  • created a ring-fenced Community Fund using the income received through the government’s feed-in tariff and the sale of energy used on-site to Lambeth Council. This fund will continue to grow over the 20-year project and is being used to deliver ongoing energy efficiency and educational benefits for local people.

M&S Community Energy funding will enable Brixton Energy to pioneer the use of battery storage on their existing BES3 solar PV installation. They have been working closely with Powervault and are confident that installing three units on BES3 will increase the percentage of energy used on-site and hence create additional bill savings for Lambeth Council and income for the Community Fund. Powervault have even agreed to provide the units at cost-price and install them for free!

This project will not only create benefits for local people on the Roupell Park Estate but also pave the way for Repowering London and other groups to roll out storage across community energy schemes.

M&S Community Energy funds will be used to purchase three 6kWh Lithium-ion Powervault Energy Storage Systems with the potential to store 18kWh solar energy per day. This excess solar energy can then be used at high demand times or when the sun isn’t shining.

Watch the project video


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