At this year’s Balcombe village fete we all enjoyed a lovely warm sunny day. This was particularly significant for REPOWERBalcombe, as at our pitch we were asking visitors to guess just how much energy the cooperative’s solar panels at Grange Farm would generate between dawn and dusk that day. Our winner, who won a set of solar garden lights, was only 0.3Kwh off the correct total of 115KWh, showing that the people of Balcombe are pretty clued up about solar energy!
We spoke to lots and lots of people spreading the work about our upcoming installations – before the end of the summer we will more than double our generation capacity by installing 104 solar panels on the roof of Balcombe Primary School and Turners Hill School. The schools will benefit from a reduction in their electricity bills and our local shareholders are due for a good return on their investment. When the children go back in September, the panels and the monitors should be in place. This will provide a splendid resource for teaching about sustainability and the environment, with some definite possibilities for some applied maths!
We are also currently applying for planning permission to install a large solar array in two fields just outside of West Hoathly. If this becomes a reality we will have achieved our goal of supplying the equivalent of all the electricity used by Balcombe households, as well as all those in West Hoathly! This would be a magnificent achievement for a group of volunteers over just a few years. There’s more information about the application on the council website here
We welcome anyone who would like to get involved, either as a regular or occasional supporter. Any help is warmly welcomed, particularly from those who have a background in finance or accountancy. And you don’t have to live in Balcombe – we have volunteers from many of the surrounding villages – you just need to share our vision….