Pomona Solar Co-operative to go ahead with 50kW extension – more shares on offer

We are delighted to announce that Pomona Solar Cooperative has now committed to building an extra 50kW extension at Stoke Edith and has today launched a new share offer to raise the £70,000 needed to install the panels.

Our planning permission allows us to build up to 300kW but we decided to build just 250kW in the first phase with the intention of adding 50kW at a later date. However, because of the threat that the Feed in Tariff will all but disappear in 2016, we have accelerated our plans and have decided to install the final 50kW before the end of the year so that we can still obtain the current tariff.

You can download a share offer document and application form here.

Even though we are pressing ahead urgently in order that the additional 50 kW will qualify for the Feed-in Tariff, it is our hope that the government’s decision following the current consultation will be to reduce FiTs much more gradually. The proposed cuts would make it far more difficult for other groups to launch new initiatives like ours. We encourage you to respond to the consultation www.solar-trade.org.uk/category/consultations/ or to sign one of the current petitions such as: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106791
or http://keepfits.org/
You may also like to look at the Solar Trade Association’s blueprint for reducing FiTs gradually, by 2020 http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/the-solar-independence-plan-for-britain/

The Summer Sun Shines on Pomona Solar Co-operative

Pomona’s first 140 kW solar array was commissioned on 23rd June on time and on budget, a feather in the cap of any engineering project. The Pomona board are also delighted to announce that the array is now feeding power to Hereford Casks, a local company making casks for the independent brewing industry. Chris Strange, Owner of Hereford Casks says “The scheme will help our business, because we will be able to buy some of our electricity from the solar cooperative more cheaply than we buy it from the grid”.

The Stoke Edith based, community energy project is building 250 kW of ground mounted solar PV. The scheme is on target to complete the final 3 sections, which will follow Western Power’s upgrade of the main grid transformer. This final phase will result in the supply of solar electricity to two more local businesses.

The Pomona board are dedicated to supporting the local community and will be endowing a community fund using some of the scheme’s profit. This will provide approximately £1000 pa to be distributed to local good causes. Some profit will also go to shareholders in the form of interest, projected to average approximately 6% over 20 years, and repayment of share capital.

As a co-operative, the scheme embodies all the international co-operative values of democracy, equality, community engagement, education and open membership.

New directors elected at AGM

We are delighted to announce that at the AGM which was held on 16th July, two new directors were elected to the board of Pomona Solar Co-operative. The new directors are Jackie Jones and Rob Palgrave. It is very welcome to have fresh faces on the board at this exciting time for the coop as we are going through the final stages of the installation, with one array already commissioned and generating, and the remaining panels due to be commissioned as soon as the new HV transformer is installed on the site by Western Power Distribution.

Latest progress on site

Last week saw the plinth for the inverter shed laid and all the trenches for the cable dug – from the panels to the inverter shed and from the inverter shed to the buildings where the electricity will be used. This week should see the panels strung together and the cables laid in the trenches.

Western Power Distribution are installing a new HV transformer on site which is needed to allow us to export the full capacity. They cannot install this until August, but we will be able to connect up part of the site before this, and are working on getting the one set of 140kW connected before the end of June, with the remainder of the panels to be connected as soon as the Western Power transformer is in place.

Solar panels all in place

Last week saw great progress at the Glebe Farm site. On Monday 13th the erection team arrived and started to install the framework for the ground mounted panels. By Monday 20th the framework was all in place and the 1000 panels were all bolted to the framework. The next stage is to wire all the panels to to the inverters and put in place the cables to connect to the buildings. All running well to schedule at present.

Main share offer launch date announced

We are pleased to say that the launch of the main share offer has now been decided. The share offer will launch on 5th March, and on this date, the share offer document will be uploaded to this website. Please register your email on the website and you will then get a reminder of this which will give you all the information you will need to buy shares.

Pioneer share offer closed

We’re very pleased to announce that our pioneer share offer has closed, with the full £66,000 of shares now sold and in the process of being allocated. This enables us to progress with the project speedily – expect to see a further share offer early in the New Year and construction soon thereafter. Our thanks go out to our 40 fantastic pioneer members!

Pomona Pioneer Share offer gets to £50,000

We’re very pleased to say that the Pomona pioneer share offer is closing in on its target of £66,000 -we have just gone past the £50,000 mark. The grid connection has now been secured by a payment to Wester Power and we are working to complete the legal agreements on the site. That means we are on track to carry out the main share offer early in 2015 and install the panels shortly thereafter – hopefully in time to catch the first rays of Summer 2015.