September 2018 Update

Dear Member,

As you may recall, we held our AGM in Shalfleet Hall on 20 June. I am sorry it has taken a while, but the minutes are now available and can be downloaded here. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation that I gave can be found here.

There was bad news and good at the AGM. Our past difficulties and the high cost of our existing finance mean that there is no spare cash, so we will be unable to make any member or community payments this year. The good news is that the position is improving and should look very different by this time next year.

Outages and production

As I explained in the April newsletter, the worst of the outages are behind us, so we have been able to take maximum advantage of the glorious sunny weather in June and July. The result is that to date, we are 8% ahead of our target production.

Refinancing

In addition to offers from Close Brothers and Triodos Bank, we have recently received an offer from CORE Partners, which looks very attractive. In addition to providing a competitive rate of interest, working with CORE could give us access to additional support services and grant funding for community projects. We are pursuing this option as a priority, but have the others available if needed.

In other news

The end of coal? 

In recent months the level of coal generation has been very low – just a few percent, and as I write this there is no coal generation and almost 20% of the total is from solar (http://gridwatch.co.uk). This is good news for the UK’s carbon emissions. All forms of renewable generation are growing and the latest government statistics show that electricity from renewable sources reached a record 29.3%, up 5% on 2016 and rose further to 30.1% in the first quarter of 2018. There are more detailed stats here.

Isle of Wight Council Environment Conference 26 June

The conference was well attended and the outputs will hopefully form the basis of the environmental strategy for the Council.

Community Energy

The Regen website is a great source of information on community energy. Regen are going from strength to strength and doing a great deal to support renewables and the community sector. Well worth signing up for their (free) newsletter.

 

Best wishes,

Colin Palmer,
Chair, Wight Community Energy