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Dec 15, 2011
Data released shows figures of installations from last month before Feed-in-Tariff.
Dec 15, 2011
Government announces cuts to Feed-in-Tariff
Jun 6, 2011
Wadebridge moves closer to becoming UK’s first solar town

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Jun 6, 2011

UK’s first solar town


Wadebridge in Cornwall has moved another step towards becoming the first solar powered town in the UK, as PV installations begin to go up across the municipality. The area aims to generate at least a third of its electricity from solar and wind power by 2015, which is the equivalent of 15,000MWh a year. By generating renewable energy at this level, Wadebridge will be able to benefit significantly from the UK’s feed-in tariff, enabling significant cash contributions for local community projects.

Driving the solar revolution, the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) – a not-for-profit co-operative – is putting thousands of panels on the roofs of local homes, schools and businesses, allowing them to use the clean electricity, and collect the feed-in tariff for their community fund.

WREN aims to have a total of 1MW of installations across Wadebridge’s buildings by 2012 and 7MW by 2015. Anyone from the town can join the co-operative and therefore have a say in how and where the money is spent.

The Network has also launched a ‘Solar Club,’ offering building owners very competitive rates on solar PV by pooling purchases. Those who do not want to pay for the up-front cost will benefit from systems owned by the ethical bank Triodos – which will reinvest the feed-in tariff income in other renewable projects and ethical, sustainable business opportunities.

Stephen Frankel Founder of WREN said, “We have just installed our first ten solar systems, the first of what we believe will be well over a hundred in the town. The response has been overwhelming now that people see solar actually starting to go in. Our motivation is to become more self-sufficient due to the rising price of fossil fuel and our concern for our environment. Our town has great irradiance levels so we knew we had an opportunity with solar to generate a local, low carbon income stream, and be a model for the rest of the UK.”