Image credit: OVESCOIPS
The image above is striking to me. The typical image of a town hall meeting about a new power station is a contentious, angry affair, with residents fighting to defend their quality of life. But, like the residents who demanded more wind turbines, these folks are actively trying to get a power station built. In fact, they are even willing to pay for it. I reported before on plans to build a community-owned solar power station on the roof of a brewery in Lewes, England. But this video about the official launch of the Ouse Valley Energy Services Company (OVESCo) gives a little more indication of the level of support behind projects like this. The group has already raised £239,600 in contributions and/or pledges—but they are pushing hard because about half are still pledges at this stage, and they need £245,000 in actual funds by May 9th to complete the project on time.
Like the man who is convincing 100 neighbors to go solar, or this community-owned cooperative wind farm, projects like this are proving that renewable energy can be a uniting force that helps strengthen, not divide, communities. In fact, one might argue that this is one of the central benefits of initiatives like OVESCo. Sure, the clean renewable energy is a wonderful thing, but how do you put a value on a community coming together to take charge of its own energy future, and what other inspiring initiatives might be borne out of the process?
More on Community-Owned Renewable Energy
Community-Owned Solar Power Station to Sit on Brewery Roof
How Community-Owned Wind Power is Fighting Climate Change (Video)
Residents Demand More Wind Turbines
Community Wind Funds Spread Wealth from Renewables