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Council invests in community energy and zero carbon future

Pippa’s Nursery and Landport Community Centre

Local Community Energy Coop Ovesco celebrates with LDC Leader Zoe Nicholson at the launch of their rooftop solar at Pippa’s Nursery and Landport Community Centre.   

Lewes District Centre has joined a handful of trailblazing councils across the country who are actively investing in their local Community Energy Co-operatives and is one of over 70 local investors in the Ovesco's Sunny Solar Schools programme.

This latest step is part of a wider council plan to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions and make the district climate resilient by 2030.

The 28 solar panels will supply free electricity for Pippa's nursery thereby reducing the running costs of this important local resource which supports local children and parents.

Says Pippa Campbell of Pippa's nursery, "We are delighted that the nursery is now powered by solar. It's good to know that we are supporting their future, not only by providing the children and their parents with a top notch early years' experience, but also we are creating less impact on their future by powering our nursery from a sustainable source. We are so proud to have this resource on the roof of our building."

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "The council is pleased to be able to support projects like this through Ovesco's share offer. The local community owning a sustainable way of generating electricity means there are benefits for the children, benefits for the community and for the future of Landport."

Chris Rowland of Ovesco adds: "This is our 9th project for local schools. What we most love about doing this work we are both contributing more renewable generated and community owned electricity for our community, and providing additional skills to our community. Our long term goal is to create more green jobs and contribute to a zero carbon Lewes.

"In order for Lewes to be zero carbon we need to generate 26MW of renewable electricity and or reduce demand. We are delighted that the Council has supported our goals by investing £5K in our projects. We are even more pleased that by investing in our projects we will be able to give the Council a 4% return on their investment, so creating a positive feedback loop for our community."

Pippa's nursery project on Landport Community Centre has been paid for by a community share offer which Ovesco coordinated as a community benefit project. Additional support was given to the project by OVESCO who donated all of the solar panels from a previous project. These donations contributed more than half the cost of the project. A clear example of the many ways in which locally owned community energy projects work for the benefit of the community.

Pictured are left to right: Ian Campbell (Pippa's Nursery), Ollie Pendered (Ovesco), Chris Rowland (Ovesco), Cllr Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, and Cllr Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability.