Award Shortlisting and other Autumn news

Award Nomination

In exciting news, GMCR has been shortlisted for the Community Energy photo award!

Our photo shows children from Irlam Primary School and Fiddlers Lane Primary School at the event we organised to celebrate the installation of our solar arrays on their school roofs. Also pictured are GMCR volunteers, members, our installer, the Mayor of Salford, and one of our directors in a fetching sunshine costume.

Community energy relies on people coming together with a shared goal of helping the environment and the community. This image from our Irlam event captures all the different groups who contribute perfectly.

You can vote for us here
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Voting closes Friday 11 October, 5pm.


2019 installations

We were delighted to raise £100,000 this summer to fund the installation of solar panels at three primary schools.

Panels were installed at Springwood Primary School and Monton Green Primary School (shown below) in the early part of the summer holidays. We’ve sent in the Feed-in Tariff applications for both installations, but we haven’t received permission to switch them on yet. We’re expecting to begin the installation at the third school, Chesham Primary School, soon.

SpringwoodCropped Monton Green Primary School small

Community Fund update

At our recent AGM, members of GMCR agreed to approve the payment of community grants totalling £4,000 in support of carbon reduction, energy efficiency and environmental education projects. We’ll be engaging with our first four sites to discuss this soon.

Community Engagement

We’ve been out promoting GMCR at various events including the Manchester Climate Youth Conference, the Manchester Climate Change Agency AGM and the Manchester Climate Strike.

Environmental education at Peel Hall Primary School – Part 2

GMRC_Primary_LogoMEEN logo

In Part 1, we saw a huge mind map that pupils at Peel Hall Primary School had drawn about climate change when working with Manchester Environmental Education Network (MEEN).

Following this, the pupils declared they needed to be ambassadors for climate change in order to help change people’s behaviour and were excited at the prospect of running a ‘Carbon Classroom’ on MEEN’s stall at Andy Burnham’s 2019 Green Summit.

They practised their skills first by running a Carbon Classroom for a Year 5 class, when they taught other pupils in the school about climate change.  This session not only shared their knowledge but also built their confidence for their task at the Green Summit.

Peel Hall 1

On the day of the Mayor’s Green Summit, the team enjoyed attending MEEN’s ‘Speak Out’ workshop which encouraged and supported young people in considering their concerns and communicating them – they were particularly pleased that the Mayor came to hear what they had to say.  They also enjoyed looking at the low carbon vehicles outside the conference, but most of all they thought that running the Carbon Classroom was the most useful and enjoyable part of the conference.

The team ran the stall inviting pupils from other schools and adults to engage in climate change activities and they also mixed and mingled with adult conference attendees asking them to discuss the issues.

Peel Hall 4The pupils reported back that they ‘were amazed that some of the adults at the Summit stopped and listened to them’ with the school staff pointing out that such conversations with adults highlighted how dialogue was a ‘good way to solve conflicts’.  The pupils also thought that the people willing to talk to them were probably ‘already campaigning for change’ and were keen to identify people who ‘need telling’, suggesting that they should wear badges such as ‘Oil Company’ so that they would be able to target their stall questions more effectively.

The school is intending to take more steps to protect the planet by planning to hold an ‘Earth Day’ Festival to raise awareness and have begun improving their school grounds by beginning to compost, by planting for pollinators and have attempted to stop cars from dropping off and picking up immediately outside the school gates. They are also looking into becoming an Eco School.Peel Hall 3

You can see how much electricity GMCR’s solar panels at Peel Hall Primary School have generated this week here.

Environmental education at Peel Hall Primary School – Part 1

MEEN logoGMRC_Primary_Logo






GMCR installed solar panels on the roof of Peel Hall Primary School in summer 2018.  You can see how much electricity the solar panels have generated this week here.

As well as generating clean energy and saving carbon, GMCR’s solar panels have become an educational resource for the school; that’s why we introduce the schools we work with to Manchester Environmental Education Network (MEEN).

MEEN worked with a school team to gather their understanding of climate change and then helped them become educators for the wider community.

For several weeks the team studied information on climate change, played games based on the issues and considered all the angles of climate change and what we need to do to combat it.

The team used their knowledge and understanding to create a huge mind map which included issues such as deforestation, CO2 emissions from transport and heating, emissions from rubbish and waste, food issues such as cows’ burps and farts and the impacts on biodiversity and the jet stream.

Peel Hall mind map

See Part 2 for how the students got on at the Mayor’s Green Summit…

We did it!

We’re delighted to announce that we reached our share offer target of £100,000 on Friday evening and we have therefore closed the share offer to new applications.

Thanks so much to everyone who has invested and all of you who made the time to promote the project and share it with your contacts!

We did it

What happens next?

We’re still working hard to finalise the legal agreements we need to put in place before we can release the funds, order the equipment and start the installations.

We’ll update you again soon…

The Time Is Now!

Last Wednesday, two of our directors joined the thousands of people who travelled to London for The Time is Now – the largest ever mass lobby of MPs calling for urgent action on the climate and ecological emergency.

The Time Is Now

One of the things we were calling for was more support for community energy schemes – and in particular for the reintroduction of tax reliefs for investments in projects like GMCR now that the Government has withdrawn the Feed-in Tariff.

Of course, we’ve not been waiting for the Government to act, and we’ve been busy raising the £100,000 we need to fund solar arrays on three more primary schools in our latest share offer.

We’re really grateful to those of you who’ve already helped us get over 80% of the way towards our target.  The deadline for applications is this Friday, so if you’re thinking of applying for shares, the time is now!  🙂

And please do remind your friends and family about our share offer on Facebook, Twitter, or by sending them a link to our share offer page

More than half way towards our share offer target!

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Invest page, you’ll have seen that our share offer to raise funds for solar panels on 3 more schools has now reached £68,150!

It’s great to be two thirds of the way to our £100,000 target.  We were delighted to be invited to Monton Green Primary School’s summer fair on Saturday so we could share news of the project with the school community.  And we’ll be at Springwood Primary School’s summer fair this Saturday to do the same.

Visit our Invest page to find out how you can help fund solar panels on Monton Green and Springwood primary schools this summer.

=at Monton Green Primary School summer fair

Please help spread the word about our share offer on Facebook, Twitter, or by sharing a link to our invest page.

Thanks for your support!

Strong start to our 2019 share offer

Share Offer Update

We’re delighted that we’ve made a strong start to our 2019 share offer, with share applications totalling over £30,000 arriving in the first week!  It was great to receive applications from some of those people who missed out last year and we’re looking forward to welcoming them as members.

We’re now one third of the way to our £100,000 target but we’re not complacent and have been out promoting the share offer this weekend at Didsbury Festival and Mad Pride Salford.

Visit our Invest page to find out how you can help us fund solar panels on 3 more primary schools this summer.

Pauline and Hussam Didsbury festival 2019

Grid Connection news

Since we launched the share offer, we’ve heard from Electricity North West that we can install the solar array at Chesham Primary School without paying for upgrade works, so long as we don’t export more electricity than the grid in the area can cope with.  As the school uses lots of electricity onsite, we’re happy to proceed on this basis.

Share our share offer

Finally, please tell your friends and family about our share offer on Facebook, Twitter, or by sending them a link to our invest page.

Thanks for your support!

Launching our 2019 share offer

We marked World Environment Day with the launch of our latest share offer!

We’re delighted to invite you to invest in our new community share offer to fund solar panels on two primary schools in Salford and one in Bury.

This will help them save money on their bills, reduce carbon emissions and help the children learn about energy and climate change – as well as funding eco-friendly projects in the local area.

With a minimum investment of £100, you could own a share of this exciting project.and earn share interest of up to 4% each year.

To read our new share offer and apply for shares please visit our Invest page

Current sites - June 2019

We’ve previously installed community-owned solar panels at 6 sites and, this year, we’re working with Monton Green Primary School, Springwood Primary School and Chesham Primary School with a view to installing this summer.

By adding these schools to our project, we’ll be able to prevent more carbon pollution, as well as generating an estimated £175,000 of energy bill savings and a £190,000 community fund over the life of the project.

To find out more, please visit our Invest page

Thank you for your support!

Winter 2019 news

Latest installation
Our newest solar array at Broadoak Primary School was commissioned on 21 December 2018 and was switched on in February 2019.

Broadoak2 (resized)

This brings our total installed capacity to around 220 kWp across arrays at 5 schools and 1 community building.

Solar Performance
Our December meter readings show that our solar arrays have generated 237 MWh in total, saving around 75 tonnes CO2, which is roughly in line with expectations. About half of this was generated in 2018.

Changes to the Feed-in Tariff
You may have heard that the Feed-in Tariff is closing on 31 March 2019.  The Government has re-introduced pre-registration so any sites that we register before the end of March will be eligible for the remaining Feed-in Tariff funds if the sites are installed and registered within 12 months of the pre-registration application date.

We’re talking to a number of schools with a view to pre-registering some sites before the end the month.

Our Board would benefit from a director with legal expertise and a director with experience of community engagement and managing volunteers. Please get in touch if you are interested in joining.