Energise Sussex Coast, a not-for-profit community group fighting fuel poverty and the climate crisis, is forming a new cooperative to fund solar panels on local schools.

This community-owned, renewable electricity and energy saving initiative will generate 400KW of power on Churchwood and Baird primary schools, St Leonards and Hastings academies and Dudley Infant Academy – all part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust – and Sandown Primary School. 

PICTURE: Rod Webb

The St Leonards Academy will have a 220KW solar array, thought to be the biggest single solar school roof in Britain.

Local people are encouraged to become members of the scheme, Energise South, to both help the schools benefit from cheaper and greener electricity and tackle the climate crisis. The minimum investment is £50 with a maximum of £30,000. Energise South aims to provide a return of 5% on this long-term investment, although this is not guaranteed and capital is not secured. 

The launch will be between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday 18th September at St Leonards Academy, Edinburgh Road, TN38 8HH. To receive an invitation, email [email protected] or register interest at www.energisesouth.coop.

Kate Meakin, director of Energise South, says: “It is apt that this launch is taking place just before the Global Climate strike on 20th September when school pupils from around the world have called on everyone to join them in a global general strike for the climate. These schools have listened to their pupils and are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Richard Fay, estates support manager at the University of Brighton Academies Trust, says: “We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our schools and we are pleased to be part of this community initiative.”


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