Final steps to solar farm for Reach community energy scheme

Latest environment news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournal on Twitter
Latest environment news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournal on Twitter

People are being asked to make the most of a final chance to sign up for a community energy scheme in Reach.

There are 12 days until the deadline for the Reach Community Solar Farm share offer.

The innovative scheme gives people the chance to become shareholders and benefit from the solar scheme planned for farmland in the village. This will generate enough power to heat half the village’s homes, earn shareholders tax relief and realise money for community environmental projects.

Under the current Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme community energy schemes can offer investors the chance to reclaim part of their investment as a reduction in their tax bill. However In April this will be removed.

The scheme came about after a meeting between organic farmer Paul Robinson and Andy Rankin who installed solar panels at his home.

They set up Reach Community Solar Farm Ltd, a community benefit society, and, leasing land from Mr Robinson’s parents, have planning permission for a 1,000 solar panel energy scheme.

Graham Lingley, a director of the community benefit society, said: “This is a great project. It gives ownership of energy production to local people and helps to reduce carbon emissions by producing energy from renewable sources. Investing in the project is an opportunity for people to put their money somewhere that benefits the environment through the generation of clean energy, benefits the local community through a community fund, and still gives them a good financial return too.”

The company needs to reach its target investment of £360,000 by March 17 in order to issue the shares which would enable investors to benefit from the tax break.

Andy said: “We’re hoping people will make hay while the sun shines and sign up to the scheme.” See www.reachsolarfarm.co.uk