UniSolar is a community energy initiative that aims to bring solar panels to the roofs of UK universities, starting with SOAS in London.
This extremely exciting project has the multiple aims of generating renewable energy, creating opportunities for developing skills in social enterprise for the local community, supporting the university's efforts to mitigate climate change, and providing a financial return for investors from the student body, local community and society at large.
In September 2016 we successfully funded for and set up our pilot project, Solar SOAS. Although our project ended up as a crowdfunded venture rather than being a share offer, there is now 29.6KW of solar panels on the roof of the SOAS Old Building. This project will also generate a yearly green fund of £2000 a year for 20 years to be used by the SOAS community. We are currently planning how we can develop, improve and expand this model to other universities and public institutions.
What We've Achieved
- A motion passed unanimously in the SOAS Students Union, supporting the Solar SOAS project
- Positive dialogue with SOAS Estates and Facilities, Management, as well as the SOAS Energy Manager
- UniSolar Limited has registered with the FCA as a Community Benefit Society (BenCom)
- Solar SOAS was finalist in the Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneurship Competition 2014
- Awarded £500 IGNITE Fund from SOAS Ventures
- Received £20,000 feasibility funds from the Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change)
- Applied for pre-accreditation Feed-in Tariff (FiTs)
- Launched crowdfunding
- Successfully crowdfunded total amount from SOAS community
- Installed panels September 2016