To mark World Environment Day on 5 June, GMCR has launched a share offer to fund the largest community-owned solar array in Greater Manchester.

The solar array at Wellington School in Timperley will cover the school roofs with 946 solar panels and generate enough electricity to make over 16 million cups of tea a year [2].  This will help the school save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) was set up in 2015 and has over 230 members who have funded solar arrays at eight primary schools in Salford and Bury, and a community centre in Trafford.  The solar panels have so far generated enough electricity to charge over 65 million smartphones, saved over £70,000 on their energy bills and prevented 300 tonnes of carbon emissions from polluting power stations. [3] 

Kate Eldridge, Director of GMCR said:

“Today, we’re launching our most ambitious share offer yet to raise £350,000 to fund a solar array at Wellington School.  

“Our project has shown that when people come together we can make a real difference to the environment and the local community.  

“With your help another school will soon be able to benefit from clean, cheap renewable energy.  

“By investing as little as £100, you can support the transition to a sustainable future ” 

The community share offer is open to individuals, businesses and organisations.  Anyone who buys shares will be eligible for share interest of up to 5% and GMCR aims to repay the shares over the next ten years.  Profits are donated to a community fund to support carbon reduction, energy efficiency and environmental education.  The share offer is open until 3 July 2023.  Those interested in investing should read the Share Offer fully and take appropriate financial advice.

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Notes to the editor

1. Greater Manchester Community Renewables Limited (GMCR) is a community benefit society, set up and run by volunteers to install community-owned renewable energy across Greater Manchester.

2. 16 million cups of tea is calculated based on estimated generation of 300,000kWh, and using an ‘average kettle’ of 2200 Watts and 1.7L which takes around 4 minutes to boil.

3. GMCR’s solar arrays have generated 1.3 million kWh of clean electricity to date.  65 million smartphones is calculated using a smartphone battery of 4000mAh using 0.02kWh to fully charge.

CO2 savings are calculated based on UK grid intensity for generation and transmission.

4. Installing a 383 kWp solar array at Wellington School will more than double the size of our project.  In the first full year of operation, we expect that our ten Sites will:

  • generate 575,000 kWh of clean, green electricity
  • save approximately 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide

Over the next 20 years, we expect to deliver:

  • total energy bill savings of £340,000
  • a Community Fund of £400,000.