We were overwhelmed by the support for the transition to a permanently open share-offer. We received 120 ‘yes’ votes and no ‘no’ votes. Voting closed on Saturday 1st September.
A move to a permanently open share-offer would give our members quicker access to their money, by removing the 3 year minimum investment period, and enable us to accept new members at any time – bringing in cash to develop new projects as they arise and more projects being installed.
Co-operatives UK have launched a Share-Booster programme to encourage best practice and innovation in the community shares market. Most community share-offers are time-bound, for example, standard practice is to hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years with a notice period of 180 days. The Co-op believe that established societies should ideally be making open offers, as a principal way of maintaining membership and share liquidity. And we believe it’s time for Tresoc to innovate in this way too.
Changing the society rules requires a significant amount of legal work. Co-operatives UK are currently providing grants of up to £10k to do this and launch new open-share offers. We’ve already applied for the grant which has been provisionally awarded. However, in order to draw down the money we need to provide the signed heads of terms agreements for the new solar installations we are proposing. So it is all taking much longer than we anticipated, and the ‘spring solar share offer’ that became the ‘summer solar share-offer’, might even become the ‘autumn solar share-offer’. However, it is well worth waiting for because it will now include more roof top solar pv on community buildings and the re-financing of the Charity Bank loan (that we took out to purchase the 50kW Hatchlands Array).
A move to a permanently open share-offer and to make these beneficial changes to the society rules required a member vote. For it to be valid, we needed a quorum, which was 50 people.
The Second Annual Archimedes Screw Fest at Totnes Weir on the River Dart on Saturday October 7th, 11am – 4pm. Free
Turbine tours by Alastair Gets of TRESOC at 12 noon & 3pm
• Meet Archimedes!
• River science all day with Westcountry Rivers Trust – bring the grandkids
• Sign up to become a Riverkeeper – a steward of the River Dart
• Delicious veg-filled arancini to eat, from The Kitchen Table
The Screw Fest is back!
• If you missed the tours last year, join us on the 7th and see your investment at work producing clean electricity for KEVICC & the foundry.
• If you came on a tour last year, please suggest to a friend that they come along this year.
You are part of a success story:
• The turbines have been cranking since they began generating electricity in December 2015. The plant has been performing ahead of expectations.
• The recreational area created near the turbine house was very popular over the summer – local people love it!
• The Renewable Energy Experiential Learning pilot with St Christopher’s school saw a class of students hearing how the turbines work, designing their own water-moving devices and making water wheels from sticks and leaves at the river’s edge – shoes and socks off, feet in the water! If you missed it, here’s the link to the film – please share it.
• The canoe launch platform was also much-used by kayakers and swimmers
• The automatic fish counter has tracked 100’s of fish and the fish pass has been welcomed by Westcountry Rivers Trust as truly “best practice.”
More good news:
• Staverton Hydro….. learn all about this new investment opportunity…..
Looking forward to seeing you on the 7th – rain or shine.
The Screw Fest is part of:
Open Eco-Homes Weekend
Fri 6, Sat 7 and Sun 8 Oct. Free
17 exciting homes and projects open to visit – full details in the programme or get your hard copy from Greenlife, The Mansion, Guildhall or Library, Totnes.
and don’t forget:
Eco & Community Homes Fair
Sat 21 Oct 10.00am to 3.00pm, Totnes Civic Hall. Free
Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC) is a local sustainable community energy company. We have a portfolio of renewable energy projects stretching from Plymouth to Exeter, our most recent project being Totnes Weir. In 2015, TRESOC was awarded RegenSW’s ‘South West Green Energy Award for the Best Community Initiative’ for the Shine Project. Working with South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDRHA), Tresoc installed solar pv on 42 properties, which means cheaper fuel bills for residents.
We are currently developing 300 kW of new solar projects, a 100kW hydro electric power plant at Staverton Leat and a 70kW Anaerobic Digester at Old Parsonage Farm Dartington. This year we have received two RCEF grants for £19k & £18K to progress the Hydro and AD projects and are working in close partnership with the Dartington Estate.
Early this year Tresoc launched its Renewable Energy Experiential Learning (REEL) education programme for primary schools, which has also been nominated for a Regen award. Our aim is to gradually offer the REEL programme to all local primary schools, as and when we raise funds.
We are looking to grow our team and have an opportunity for a passionate and enthusiastic part time communications director. The role is flexible and can be generally done remotely, with the exception of monthly board meetings (these are usually held between 7-9 on a Tuesday night) and occasional team meetings. The role is currently approx. 10 hours per month for a salary of £200. However, we are an expanding company and the role will grow over time.
Job description – Facilitate the promotion of community share-offers. Working with a team of committed professional on a part time basis. We are able to offer a modest hourly rate.
Duties include – Members newsletters, PR and branding.
Promote the work of Tresoc through press and social media (manage website content, facebook, twitter). Maintain & improve communications with members and supporters and produce member’s and friends’ communications – monthly newsletter (MailChimp). Grow local and national database of PR contacts. Develop Tresoc brand, create guidelines ‘what we do & who we are’ & ‘how we talk about it’. Assist with marketing around share-offers. Organise and address AGM.
To apply please send a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing Date 12th October.
Fantastic News! Staverton Hydro Community Benefit Society (SHCBS) have been awarded a grant of £20,000 from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) to kick start the development of the 100kW hydro power plant at Staverton Leat.
SHCBS will use the grant to do a feasibility study and look at the potential of the hydro scheme on the River Dart. Potentially, the electricity generated by the scheme will be supplied to and used by the Dartington Hall Trust Estate.
This has historical significance, as the Estate’s (and Staverton village’s) first electricity supply was generated from a hydro plant in the same location. The original plant, developed by Leonard Elmhirst, was in operation from 1930 until the early 70’s. Jo Talling, Property Director for The Dartington Hall Trust, remarked that she was ‘excited about exploring the project, working with Tresoc and the wider community to make the estate more resilient and reduce our carbon emissions. The project also speaks to our history as well as to Dartington’s new strategy.’ Roger Papworth, RCEF Programme Manager commented that ‘The Rural Community Energy Fund were please to award a Grant to Staverton Hydro as this is a great example of a community group investigating renewable energy options that the fund aims to support. If successful the project will not only re-establish an historical hydro facility but benefits will be shared across the wider community. We look forward to hearing of a positive outcome once this work has been completed’.
SHCBS has been set up by Tresoc specifically to develop the Staverton Hydro project. It was necessary to establish SHCBS as a separate company because of the terms of the loan agreement that Tresoc has with Charity Bank. The scheme will be developed with Tresoc’s engineering partner Hydrosense, who previously developed the 300kW hydro power plant at Totnes Weir. The construction of the scheme will be financed in a similar way to Totnes Weir, by raising community money through a share offer.
The local community are invited to several public meetings to discuss the project, which are planned to take place in late June and July. Furthermore, Tresoc will be inviting local residents to take part in a ‘walk & talk’, which will allow them to visit the site, that is on private land, and to ask questions about the project informally. Some of the grant money will also be used to fund Tresoc’s Renewable Energy Experiential Learning (REEL) Project with St Christopher’s of Staverton … read on for more info …
RCEF Grant Bid for Anaerobic Digester at Parsonage Farm, Dartington
Tresoc are in the process of submitting another grant application to RCEF to assess the feasibility of a 70KW Anaerobic Digester at Parsonage Farm, on the Dartington Estate. The plant would process farm waste products, such as slurry, and food wastes from the restaurants on the Dartington Estate, converting methane (one of the most potent greenhouse gasses) to electricity, heat and carbon-dioxide. Potentially, the electricity will be sold to the farmer and the Dartington Hall Trust (DHT), and the heat will be used by DHT in the local campsite showers.
Listed 30s building goes solar in local partnership.
William Lescaze offices have new 30kW solar PV array.
A new 30kW solar-PV array has been put on the roof of the Lescaze Offices in Dartington village to provide renewable electricity.
The Dartington Hall Trust invested £35,000 in Totnes Renewable Energy Society shares to provide the funds needed to invest in the array. TRESOC worked with local renewable energy company Beco Energy Ltd to deliver the project in Dartington village. The solar array, carefully hidden from view on the Lescaze Offices roof was completed in late November.
Due to the Grade II listed status of the modernist flat-roofed building, which was designed by Swiss American architect William Lescaze in the 1920s (with additions in 1936), listed building consent was needed as well as planning consent from South Hams District Council.
The consent required the array to be invisible from ground view so the array is set back from the roof edge on a Flamco Falx mounting system using ballast that maintains the roof integrity. The Qcell 280 Wp modules will deliver around 21,000 kWh of green electricity annually and reduce the building’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11.48 tonnes a year.
TRESOC will provide electricity to the Trust at a reduced rate.
Karen Williams, chief operating officer of The Dartington Hall Trust, says: ‘It’s great to be working with TRESOC on the Lescaze project, by providing equity investment through our SEEDbed programme we have been able to secure a renewable energy supply for one of our buildings as well as being able to provide targeted enterprise support for a valued community organisation through our SEEDbed incubator programme.
Ian Bright, managing director, TRESOC, says: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Dartington to produce low cost green electricity for key stakeholders, high value employment in local businesses and a sustainable financial return on local community investment.’
David Inscoe, managing director, Beco Energy Ltd, says: ‘We have delivered many projects with TRESOC, from social housing to commercial roof top projects, and are delighted to have delivered another success.
To fund the project, the Trust made an equity investment of £35,000 in TRESOC through its SEEDbed programme. This follows on from the Trust’s investment of 20K in 2014, and £200 as a corporate member when TRESOC was founded in 2010. TRESOC will maintain the array with the specialist monitoring services of Argand Solutions.
[Press release provide by The Dartington Hall Trust, 2017]
Tresoc Managing Director, Ian Bright joined Regen SW and colleagues from South West England, London, Manchester & Wales in Brussels, December 2016. Part of a community energy study tour, they met with Molly Scott Cato, MP at the European Parliament.
Community energy is becoming a major player in the development of renewable energy infrastructure, delivering clean green energy and sustainable local economies across Europe and beyond. Cheaper than new gas or nuclear now too!
The President of the REScoop-eu, Dirk Vansintjan, gave this presentation on ‘Moving Towards Energy Democracy.’