Reading University

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Two Rivers Community Energy Society: approximately 20 university buildings
2 MW
176 MWh/y
530,000 €

Reading Community Energy Society is the first of its kind in Reading. The society was formed (in its current state) following the announcement of the removal of pre-registration of FIT rates for community groups. Energy4All had already set up a co-operative for a solar PV project at Reading University but the project fell through but the co-operative structure still existed. 

When the FIT changes were announced E4A brought together representatives from Berkshire Energy Pioneers (who were in the process of setting up their own energy society but they would not have a registered society before the new FIT deadlines), Reading Council and Reading University who were all working on solar PV projects that were at risk of failing if they could not pre-register for the current FIT rate. 

They representatives agreed to join together to form the Reading Community Energy Co-op using the existing Reading Campus Community Energy Society and expand the reach beyond the university and include projects on community buildings across the Reading area. Energy4All pre-registered 24 sites for the FIT on behalf of the energy society. The sites consisted of a range of community buildings such as schools, churches, libraries and other council buildings.

In the 12 months that followed 13 of the pre-registered sites were deemed unsuitable following structural and other surveys. Energy4All wrote the financial model and the licence agreements used for the projects and ran the share offer for the energy society. They raised £214,963 in less than a month through a locally targeted campaign to install solar PV on the remaining 11 sites. 
Energy4All also helped to project manage the installations of the Solar PV arrays on 11 community buildings sites. The group has a total of 176 kW solar PV installed. Energy4All continue to help the energy society with the ongoing administration of the community benefit society to help the group focus on expanding their portfolio of projects.