GEN News

Colchester Community Solar press release.

Our new project "Colchester Community Solar Farm" is launched today - 16th April 2015.

Minutes of the 2014 AGM and Accounts.

Minutes of the 2013 AGM, Accounts.

Minutes of the 2012 AGM.

GEN coverage in the Guardian - 30th Oct 2012

Our installation at Ferrier's Barn was completed ahead of the 1st Aug 2012 FiT review but unfortunately we were not able to proceed with the Bures Primary School project.

GEN was named the best Community Energy Project 2011 at Suffolk - Greenest County awards last night.

GEN members met with Jenny Willis from Co-operatives UK to assist with the writing of a report on Community Energy. The final report has just been issued - click here to read it.

GEN was named winner of the Environmental Awareness award at the Colchester Business Awards on Friday night. Will and Simon were there to collect the award.

Our "How we did it" guide, which might be useful to other groups looking to set up a similar community energy enterprise, can be found on the FAQ page.


Nayland Primary School

Live Generation Stats - Sunny Portal

Opening Ceremony

Ferrier's Barn Day Centre

Ferriers Sunny Portal

Bures Projects

GEN are collaborating with Transition Bures to under the banner of "Bures Energy Co-operative" to investigate the possibilities for solar PV on community buildings in Bures.

These schemes will use the same model established for Nayland Primary School and investment will be sought from existing GEN members as well as new participants. We are very excited about this opportunity to expand the community benefit of our society to our near neighbours.

Bures Primary School

The school is about to have an extension built that will include a south facing roof. The design is currently being finalised and we are working with the design team to make sure it is suitable for a solar PV installation. We hope to be able to install at least 4kWp system, possibly larger.

Ferrier's Barn

Ferrier's barn ( is a day centre for disabled young people. The trustees of the facility are keen to reduce their carbon footprint and to reduce their energy bills.

We are investigating the feasibility of installing a tracking solar PV array of 10kWp capacity. This will stand in the grounds near the main building and uses low power motors to tilt the array through two axes in order to ensure it is always facing the brightest part of the sky. Solar trackers can greatly increase the yield of a PV system.

Since the majority of the energy requirements of the centre are during the day time, especially when they fire up their pottery kiln, such a solution can have a big impact on their energy profile.

For more about solar tracking please see this video on YouTube: (excuse the annoying voice over!)

UPDATE 23rd March: Ken, Simon and Will visited the Ferrier's Barn site on Monday and having studied their requirements we are interested in taking a holistic approach to their energy needs. Since the barn needs to be maintained at a relatively high temperature the bulk of the energy usage is in space heating. To address this we could also install a Ground Source Heat Pump system that would drastically reduce their expenditure on oil for space heating by utilising some of the electricity generated by the solar PV. Ground Source Heat Pump technology also attracts a subsidy, similar to the Feed in Tariff for solar PV, called the Renewable Heat Initiative (non-domestic); see for more information about the RHI.

UPDATE June; we are pushing ahead with the project at Ferriers Barn but have dropped the solar tracker for now as the improved efficiency no longer pays for itself in the reduced FiT regime. We are also putting the Ground Source heat idea on hold so we can get our solar PV panel installed as quickly as possible.

Next Steps

Our prospectus is now available for download. We are working to a tight deadline to get our installations done before the FiT rate is reviewed again in August and so we've put a short deadline on investment applications. However if you are keen to invest please contact us as we will probably be able to accept further investment beyond that date.

Please contact Ken Jackson (GEN member) on or contact GEN using the Contact Us page if you have any questions about our Bures projects..