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It feels like we are about to give birth to a community energy project for the Forest – Forest Energy Community Initiative (FECI). This is really exciting. A practical way of getting renewables installed across the Forest - and potentially insulation too - all tied into the local community through share offers and community benefit.

Along with other ‘Greens’ I’ve been engaging with this initiative since its inception.

We’ve had several meetings, here's a brief summary of our aims and where we’re at:

Forest Energy Community Initiative – creating a community swell in favour of affordable and sustainable energy.

Priorities1. Facilitate the installation of solar pv on Dean Academy school and Freedom leisure centre through a community investment process & provide the same opportunity to other larger roofs across the Forest.

Preferred option:

a. Working with someone like the Big Solar Coop.

2. Explore ways to promote solar PV up-take and achieve economies of scale for householders and smaller buildings in the Forest of Dean who stand to benefit from solar PV.

Possible options include:

b. Discussing options to cluster roofs with Big Solar Coop

c. Looking at/for organisations who might help with bulk purchasing (see Frome example) or reverse-auction services (through something like Solar Together).

3. Explore opportunities for developing and/or being part of larger projects like wind turbines and ground mounted solar that could significantly increase our impact and influence in the local area.

Benefits we want to achieve:

  • Help people, business and organisations in the Forest save money.

  • Protect local assets like the leisure centre from rising costs.

  • Provide opportunities for people in the Forest to invest in locally impactful projects.

  • Enable local people to play a very tangible role in reducing the carbon footprint of the forest.

And here’s some slides for more information:

FECI workshops update
Download PPTX • 842KB

If you’re interested in getting involved or supporting us, FECI would love to hear from you. We’re going to need a range of different skills to achieve our ambitions.

They include things like accounting, fundraising, organising and communicating as well as energy knowledge and business experience.

The best thing about being at the stage we’re at, is there is plenty of space to shape ideas and get involved.

Get in touch:

Emma-Jayne from FoDDC:

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