About Us

Pomona Solar Co-op has been set up by people who want to see the power of the sun harnessed for the benefit of the people of Herefordshire.

Chris Boote – Director

Chris is a housing professional with 30 years of experience in the sector. He has worked and volunteered in Herefordshire since 1998 and was, until recently, the Director of Operations at a Herefordshire based housing association where he had responsibility for strategy, policy development and the performance of a number of key business functions including housing management services, supported housing, building maintenance, stock investment and business development. He managed annual revenue budgets of c£6 million, a team of 50+ staff and a development programme of up to 80 new homes per year. His successes included leading the first installations of PV panels and renewable energy solutions for the housing association as part of an investment strategy aimed at tackling fuel poverty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the housing stock.

Chris has a strong and long lasting commitment to the voluntary and community sector in Herefordshire. He was Chair of the Herefordshire Citizens Advice Bureau Trustee Board from 2007-2013 and is a current trustee of the LARC Development Trust (based in Leominster) and chairs the LARC Finance Committee. In this role he has helped LARC raise £3 million in funding and successfully complete a community asset transfer and refurbishment of an iconic building, Grange Court. (Director since 2015)

Ben Boswell – Director

Ben has worked as a sustainability professional for over 10 years, and manages the energy and environmental management team at Herefordshire Council. He is responsible for corporate sustainability, sustainable transport, energy management, policy development, fuel poverty, fleet management and renewable energy investments. His successes include developing the county’s electric vehicle charging network, leading the county-wide LED street lighting project and developing the Council’s renewable energy investment programme. Ben also has a role with the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, co-ordinating the low carbon group – he has contributed to local and regional policy development as well as facilitating development of a number of large European investment projects in the Marches. (Pomona Director since 2016)

Gordon Coppock – Director

Gordon started using solar PV in the 1980s and has worked with one of the UK’s pioneering renewable technology companies, Leominster-based Wind&Sun.  A physicist by background, Gordon is an elected member of the Institute of Physics. An enthusiastic proponent of electric vehicles, Gordon has converted various vehicles to electric drive over the past 12 or so years. He is involved in a number of other community energy initiatives, with KLEEN (Kington Local Energy and Environment Network) where he is Chair and responsible for the energy (saving and generation) group. He is a founding voluntary director of Kington Community Energy Co-operative Ltd . He is a trained volunteer adviser for the Home Energy Service (HES), supported by the Lightfoot group in Shropshire, and since 2016 has been liaising with CAT to provide public workshops across the Marches region to share the Zero Carbon Britain project research. His own house is en route to becoming a net zero carbon home, and he is involved in four community energy schemes across the UK. (Pomona Director since 2016)

Jackie Jones – Director

Jackie Jones has been involved in renewable energy and energy efficiency since the mid 1990s. She co-founded, and for 12 years was editorial director, of a leading international publication for professionals involved in renewable energy, also organizing specialist renewables conferences in the United States, SE Asia, and across Europe and the UK.  She was involved in local community energy projects for four years before moving to Herefordshire, focusing particularly on initiatives for home energy retrofit and energy saving, putting on energy saving events for one London borough and sitting on the Housing Retrofit Working Group of another. She served for two years on the project steering group of Carbon Leapfrog (before it became Pure Leapfrog), helping assess community energy projects for support. She has invested in a number of other community renewables initiatives. Over the past year or so her own home has undergone a full energy retrofit and runs on renewables. (Pomona Director since 2015)

Rob Palgrave – Director

Rob Palgrave is a retired IT director with a degree in electronics engineering. Prior to moving to Herefordshire in 2013, he spent 7 years actively volunteering with a community sustainability group in Surrey, setting up and managing a scheme to provide homeowners and village halls with guidance on energy conservation. He also sat on the council’s climate change working group and co-ordinated the local community’s input to the council’s carbon management plan.

A long-time user of home based renewable energy, Rob has invested in several community solar PV, wind and small hydro schemes around the country. He is an officer of the Hereford Green Party and treasurer for an environmental campaigning group. (Pomona Director since 2015)

Eithne George – Company Secretary

Eithne is a founding director of Leominster Community Solar and of Sharenergy Co-operative. Her background is in renewable energy and sustainability policy work, when she worked as an in-house advisor on construction at Cambridge City Council before moving to the Marches. Here she helped to develop Cambridge’s sustainable drainage policy which is now widely used around the UK.  Prior to this she was one of the co-founders of The Hub, a shared office space for people starting up social and environmental businesses.  This started in London in 2005 and there are now over 62 Hubs worldwide (renamed Impact Hubs). Eithne served as a Pomona Director from its founding until 2015.

Background

The Co-op has been developed in partnership with Sharenergy. Sharenergy is a co-operative which helps to set up renewable energy co-operatives. It is a spin-off from Energy4All which has established larger wind co-operatives across the UK and itself owes its origin to Baywind, the UK’s first renewable energy co-operative founded  in 1997.

We’re listed on www.shares.coop the listing site – many thanks to them for their support

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