After a decade of installing small rooftop arrays, the community energy nonprofit Bristol Energy Cooperative is thinking big. It played a key role in raising funds to turn an old industrial building into a second site for The Bottle Yard Studios, a council-owned film and TV studio. TBY2 will be mostly powered by 2,000 solar photvoltaice panels generating a combined 1MW of electricity. Through community share offers, BEC has raised £15m since 2011, and reinvested profits locally in arbon-saving initiatives. But BEC’s partnership with The Bottle Yard’s state-of-the-art expansion project showed how community energy can help tackle climate change in a meaningful way. Besides enabling TBY2’s clients to film sustainably, the solar array may help it earn an Albert studio sustainability accreditation, a new industry standard run by BAFTA. “Businesses are all squeezed at the moment for multiple reasons, and community energy can take spare capital that’s rattling around and put it on roofs in a really useful way,” says Community Energy England’s co-CEO Duncan Law.

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