If any of you reading this work at, have contacts or influence at these places, please get in touch with me:

Alperton, ARK Elvin, Capital City, JFS, Kilburn Park, Kingsbury, Leopold, Michaela, Preston Manor, Wembley primary,  Wykeham  (Schools)  Wembley High Technology College

Chalkhill, Lonsdale, Wembley Health & Care, (Medical/Community centres)

Willesden Sports Centre

Now read on to find out why.....

Our first installation on Queens Park Community School has been up and running for 18 months now.   The 198 PV panels on their science block have produced 47,500 kWh of electricity in the first year of operation.  The installer's model predicted 42,129 kWh, so that's good news!   We get a guaranteed 12p/kWh Feed-in-Tariff for it plus 5p/kWh sale to the school, which makes our financial model work:  we pay interest to our 35 member-investors and repay capital (up to 5% p.a. on demand) . Running costs include insurance, maintenance, accountancy and a fund to replace the inverters after 10 years. This still leaves some surplus for our community benefit fund which should total about £1000 a year. Applications for local green project funding will be considered.  

Imagine then the problem when the FIT was reduced to 4.5p/kWh at the beginning of 2018!  This time next year the FIT disappears altogether.  So much for the government's environmental commitment. Well, we can still just about make the model work by increasing the sales tariff to 7.5 p/kWh and reducing the interest offered to members.  We're trying to interest as many potential community sites in Brent as possible and have written to 14 schools, 2 medical centres and a sports centre. Sadly, there tends to be nil response in the first instance.  Forget technical issues or fund raising, persuading organisations to lease us their roof space proves to be very difficult! Despite the offer of electricity savings worth several hundred or thousand pounds, an innate resistance to new technology, a search for trivial reasons to reject the offer (reflection of light from panels annoying neighbours has been cited), perhaps a climate change denial attitude or refusal to do anything about, it kick in!

We do have interest from The Avenues Youth Project and are awaiting confirmation.

Many thanks,

Nick Hartley


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