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Image above showing Duckmanton School solar array

A Sunny Six Year Partnership

By Ryan Lewis, Marketing Manager at JoJu Solar

What do nine Marks and Spencer stores, sixteen schools, numerous churches, several community outreach buildings and a library in Reading all have common? It’s simple this Summer they have all benefitted from the incredible partnership that exists between Energy4All and Joju Solar.

For the last six years Energy4All and Joju Solar have been bringing solar energy and solar PV systems to people across England. This summer was one of our busiest ever. Over 6000 solar panels covering nearly 10 000 m2 have been installed by Joju Solar with Energy4All through three main collaborations: the Marks and Spencer Community Energy Scheme (MSCES), the Schools Energy Cooperative (SEC) and the Reading Community Energy Scheme (RCES). All three schemes demonstrate the way we have worked with Energy4all together with different investors to create and collaborate in a scheme which suits best suits their needs.

The three schemes Joju have worked on this Summer with Energy4All each define a different type of community scheme. The RCES is an example of the majority of community schemes, which exist in the UK, the community of place – where investors are drawn from a local area to invest in projects that area in this case Reading. The Schools Energy Cooperative is an example of a community of interest – where the community is geographically scattered, but made up of people with a shared passion in this case bringing solar energy to schools. The third, the MSCES which Joju and Energy4All developed together is a new type of community energy schemes, which we have called the community of the workplace where the investors are the staff, customers and shareholders of Marks and Spencer.

All three schemes have made for an incredibly busy Summer for Joju working to extremely tight deadlines, in particular, in schools and community buildings while they are empty during the holidays. Many lessons have been learnt from all the projects not least the importance of involving all stakeholders in the project. Each type of community scheme delivers its own unique set of challenges whether that be the timing of the schools’ installations, the complexities of dealing with third party landlords in the Marks and Spencer’s installations or causing minimum disruption to the users of the community buildings while they are still in use in Reading.

Joju have been working with Energy4All for six years but this year we celebrate out 10th birthday and in doing so we are giving one lucky community group the opportunity to win an existing solar PV array that will generate £500 in FiT payments for the next 21 years. As well as being experts in solar PV installation for the last 10 years we have recently broaden our services in to Home Battery Storage, including the Tesla Powerwall; LED lighting and Electric Vehicle charging.

We hope that our relationship with Energy4all and bringing more sustainable energy to communities around the country can continue for long in to the future.

September 2016

  • Social Enterprise UK
  • Keyfund
  • I'm a member - Community Energy England