Whether “got done” already or only just beginning, the little matter of Brexit has not stopped a far-sighted energy co-operative from offering EU-sourced grants so small and medium-sized firms can install low-cost solar electricity systems on their premises.

Brighton Energy Cooperative today announced single grants of up to £25,000 to firms eager to install PV systems.

Subject to conditions, the scheme can meet up to 40% of a successful applicant’s outlay on solar.  As well as onsite arrays, generation feeding into EV chargers is also eligible.

The money comes from the EU’s Regional Fund, which confirmed its support this month. Brighton Energy’s officers had been far-sighted enough to apply for a slug while the nation’s EU-quitting transition arrangements permitted.

Ranging beyond Brighton, firms trading ‘predominantly’ in the Coast to Capital area are eligible. Coast to Capital is a local enterprise partnership (LEP) covering, in its own words, “business hubs in Greater Brighton, Gatwick, West Sussex and East Surrey”.

Mittel-standing on a solar roof

That wide area embraces a patch as far north as Epsom and Leatherhead, ranging from Oxted and East Grinstead to the Channel, and as far west as beyond Midhurst, Chichester, and Billingham. London Gatwick airport lies at its centre.

Firms are urged to secure written permission beforehand from any landlord who controls relevant premises under a lease, including roofs. Grants will be paid over after installations are completed.

The Community Solar Accelerator is Brighton Energy’s name for their solar-for-SMEs scheme. The programme runs until the end of June 2023. The co-op believes up to 42 businesses can benefit.

Conditions for applicant companies include not having received more than £180,000 of state aid in the past three years, employing not more than 250 staff, turning over less than £44 million and with net assets not greater than £38 million.

For more details and to register an interest, see the relevant pages on Brighton Energy’s website  or email CSAgrants@BrightonEnergy.org.uk

Interest declared: The present writer is a member of Brighton Energy.


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