“TRESOC – a new type of community renewables company… a business that should be funded… TRESOC may enable Totnes to become one of the first towns to operate its own independent generation and energy retailing company supplying local homes and businesses with ‘local’ electricity” – Chris Goodall, Carbon Commentary
The World’s First ‘Archimedes Screw Fest’ Event Update …
On Saturday, October 15th 2016, the first ever Archimedes Screw Fest took place at the Hydro Power Station on Totnes Weir. The event marked the Hydro Station’s first birthday and a year of green electricity generation.There were several family activities running throughout the day providing an opportunity to learn first-hand about the local ecosystem and the amazing renewable energy source right on our doorstep. Tresoc’s director of Engineering, Alastair Gets, led tours/talks around the site throughout the day, which included a close up inspection inside the plant and of the fish pass.
Thanks to Landustrie and Dart Renewables Ltd, who sponsored Archimedes Screw Fest, and to all those who joined us at the weir and made the day so special. Archimedes Screw Fest was part of TTT Open Eco Homes weekend.
Vote in Community Referendum Today – Wednesday 23rd November
Make sure you vote in the Totnes Referendum today on the ‘community right to build order’ to approve the development of the Atmos project, on the site of the derelict Dairy Crest Dairy (next to the train station). Atmos will create a multi use site that will include a community centre, recreational facilities, a retirement home, low cost housing, and industrial units. Their vision is to build a development that will be carbon neutral, involving different renewable energy technologies – Vote Yes! http://atmostotnes.org/
Notice of Annual General Meeting and Annual Report 2016
We are pleased to invite you to our Annual General Meeting at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 30th November, 2016 at St. John’s Church, Bridgetown, Totnes.
Please do join us also for drinks, nibbles and sparkling conversation at St. John’s, after the AGM.
We are delighted also to welcome as our Guest Speaker: Karen Williams, C.O.O. of The Dartington Hall Trust, as TRESOC looks towards working in partnership with the Trust.
TRESOC AGM 2016
Building on the award winning success of last year, this year the Tresoc Team have continued to develop the solar portfolio with the purchase of the 50kW roof mounted array at Hatchlands Farm and the installation of a new 30kW roof mounted array at Lescaze House, Dartington. This marks the start of Tresoc providing electricity direct to consumers via private wire network, and thus becoming an electricity supplier. Tresoc has also established the Staverton Hydro Community Benefit Society to develop a 100 kW hydro power station which will supply low cost renewable electricity to Dartington Hall Trust. Furthermore, we continued to investigate the potential for an on farm anaerobic digestion plant to convert local food wastes into electricity, heat and valuable fertiliser.
On the administration front, we have upgraded our financial management and forecasting capabilities with the adoption of SAGE financial software.
To further the development of renewable energy through community engagement and education we organised several community events and worked with a range of students. These include: a project with Plymouth University design students on Totnes Weir; a summer internship with a student from Exeter University to investigate the potential for the anaerobic digestion of local food waste, which culminated in a community talk; Guest talks at Schumacher; and, the first ever Archimedes Screw Fest.
The income stream from our solar assets, with a welcome bonus from the sale of shares in Dart Renewables to Tresoc members, means that we are on target to make a trading surplus in the current financial year. This will allow a first modest interest payment to members of 2%. Details will be announced at the AGM and payments will be made at the end of our financial year in April 2017. This hard won ability to operate profitably is a key milestone for Tresoc and we are keen to celebrate and share this achievement with our members at this AGM. Your continuing loyalty and support during the long haul to profitability has been key to our success.
Come and Take Part
We urge you to come to our AGM, ask questions and help us develop our strategy for the year ahead – we’d like to welcome all of you! Our goal – as always – is that you are aligned with, and endorse the efforts we are making on your behalf.
The Agenda for the AGM can be found here. The Directors’ Report and a summary of our latest Accounts to 31st March 2015 will be available at the AGM or can be down loaded from the website shortly. A signed copy of the Accounts has been submitted to the Financial Services Authority, and copies will be available to members at the AGM.
On entry to the AGM your name will be checked against the Register of Members. Attendees will be required to vote on society business. We would be grateful if you could let us know if you plan to attend; Click here to RSVP online. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend and, wish to nominate a proxy, please find a Proxy Voting Form along with the AGM Agenda on the website.
In order to keep you up to date, we do need to have your current contact details. So, if there are any changes to your address, email address or phone number please do let us know. You can also find on the website all the latest news on our projects, press releases and newsletters, as well as full copy of the Society’s Rules.
If you have any queries regarding any aspect of your investment or TRESOC in general we are always happy to help. You can contact us by telephone 01803 867431, email email@example.com or via our website, and we’d be pleased to hear from you if you feel you could offer some of your time and/or skills to help develop the Society.
So that just leaves us to say thank you for helping to empower your community by being part of TRESOC.
We look forward to seeing you on 30th November.
The First Ever Archimedes Screw Festival
Science: Join Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) river scientists to look at the salmon’s “eco home”. Simple testing kits will enable you to take measurements and look at ecological status of the Dart. Join hundreds of other Citizen Scientists in the region – sign up with WRT to become a River Dart steward.
Art: Celebrate the Dart – make a silver salmon and add it to a giant community shoal.
Energy: Hydro scheme tours at 12 noon and 3pm with Tresoc’s Alastair Gets, Director of Engineering – see inside the working plant. Find out about Tresoc’s new hydro project at Staverton Leat.
Join in: Share your own Tales of the Riverbank. Help us design a permanent sign to explain more about the scheme – what do you want to know? Participate in a clean-up along the river.
TIME CHANGE: Totnes Rubbish Walks volunteers will start at Totnes Bridge at 11am, arriving at the weir by noon, continuing along the river, finishing by 1pm.
If you work up an appetite: Taste Archimedes’ favourite Sicilian snack, veg-filled arancini – on sale from 12:30pm, while supplies last, fresh from local food geniuses, The Kitchen Table.
The festival is part of Transition Town Totnes’ Open Eco Homes weekend. From the traditional to the unconventional, the tour highlights inspiring homes at different stages on the journey to reducing their energy bills and environmental impact.
Time to listen to what people want?
Community Energy retains overwhelming backing of UK public and increased support among Conservative voters, survey finds.
An overwhelming majority of the public would support local renewable energy projects, including wind turbines, if they were owned and controlled by the community, according to new research from Co-operative Energy. This includes not just Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party supporters, but also those who identify with the Conservative Party.
More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of the 2,000 UK adults polled said they would support local community-owned renewable energy projects such as wind turbines, with just 8% in opposition. Support among Conservative voters increased from 62% in 2015 to 65% in 2016.
A staggering 78 per cent of the public thought that the Government should do more ‘to help local communities generate their own energy, with profits staying in the area’. Just 6 percent opposed this. Again, support among Conservative voters increased, from 73% in 2015 to 76% in 2016.
The findings directly challenge the Government’s recent decisions to slash subsidies for small, local renewable energy schemes and to bar investors from access to social investment tax relief. Two-thirds (68%) of respondents say that they are prepared to pay a small surcharge each year on their energy bill to fund an expansion of community energy, with just 15% opposing this. While 58% believe that the Government should change its mind and once again offer tax relief to those individuals who take the risk of investing in community energy, with just 12% against. Backing for these measures was higher still among Conservative supporters.
The Energy Potential of Local Food Waste
Caspar Sayany, MEng Renewable Energy student at Exeter Uni student and Tresoc intern, presented his research findings. Caspar interviewed 49 businesses in Totnes and found they produce 164 tonnes of food waste per year, or 3,161kg/week. The UK’s millions of tonnes of unavoidable food waste, like peelings and apple cores, has costs – energy, money, space, time, smell and environmental. Our AD project at Dartington at Old Parsonage Farm will be a great way to recycle nutients and to produce energy. Separating waste will be the challenge…. maybe we can learn from Japan‘s gomi (rubbish) guides: “Trash-related issues could easily become a cause of trouble with your neighbors. To establish a comfortable life for both you and others in the community, it is important to follow local rules for trash collection.”
Take a look at Caspar’s presentation, download it here.
Polish producer Adam Dzienis, filming Caspar, is creating a film to highlight the vital and thriving contribution of co-operative energy across Europe.
Staverton Director sought for BenCom
The newly formed Staverton Hydro Community Benefit Society is seeking a Director from Staverton to join its small team. Details of role and responsibilities to follow. For initial enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tresoc dispatches from the community renewable energy frontline
The Tresoc team has been busy lately managing new investments in solar (the roofs of Bidwell Brook School and Lescaze House on the Dartington Estate) and Staverton Leat Hydro, and the Society is on target to make a profit in the current financial year. With all that’s happening its not always easy to keep our patient and loyal members fully informed. Our Managing Director, Ian Bright ventures into the blogosphere to bring you up to date with Tresoc affairs.
Putting our hydro knowledge to good use
We are moving forward with the Staverton Leat Hydro Project, researching the history of the Town Mills hydro plant that was in operation for 40 years, generating electricity for the Dartington Estate. Read the story, it’s a fascinating history! This small-scale, regenerative project will incorporate a single Archimedes turbine. In addition, the project aims to restore the leat walls, which have fallen into disrepair and are threatened by inconsistent water levels. A new fish pass and smoult pass will help up- and down-stream migration of river life.
Totnes Weir Hydro Share Offer reaches the target
Tresoc Members invested just over £300,000 in the iconic 300 kW Totnes Weir hydro power plant. Because the target was reached through local investment, there was no need to open up the share offer to a wider audience—local investment works! Triodos have sent out share certificates. If you missed out on this opportunity, don’t fret, more good things are on the way. We have a working partnership with the Hydrosense consortium, developers of the Totnes weir site, and we are moving forward with a new, local hydro project and more on-roof solar. Get in touch if you’d be interested in investing.
Read more about this Share Offer.