Trafford Labour councillors have backed a £350K green initiative with ambitions to fund the largest community-owned solar array in Greater Manchester.
Plans include fitting 946 solar panels on the roof at Wellington School, Timperley, making this the biggest scheme of its kind.
It is estimated the panels could generate enough electricity to save the school hundreds on energy bills while reducing its carbon footprint.
Spearheading the scheme is Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) a community benefit society, set up and run by volunteers on a mission to install community-owned renewable energy across the conurbation.
Essentially, the organisation raises funds to install solar panels on schools and community buildings.
Everyone who buys shares becomes a member of GMCR and receives share interest of up to 5pc per year, subject to the financial performance.
The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum £50K
Its success speaks for itself.
So far, GMCR has installed solar panels on a community centre in Partington, seven schools in Salford, and one in Bury, all funded through community shares.
The panels have generated enough electricity to charge over 65 million smartphones, saved over £70K on their energy bills and prevented 300 tonnes of carbon emissions being emitted from polluting power stations.
Labour Cllrs Jill Axford and Barry Brotherton were instrumental in initiating a conversation with GMCR – and both firmly believe in the need to find innovative ways to switch to renewable energy.
They said: “We are really excited to see this extremely positive outcome from our endeavours to set up a Trafford community energy scheme.
“It is so good to see a community focused solution to both fuel poverty and the climate crisis, one that will spread the message about the urgency of transitioning to renewable energy.”
GMCR have raised £36K so far.
further information or to buy shares visit: News – Greater Manchester Community Renewables (gmcr.org.uk)