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The Brightwell’s Green Objectives take a Huge Leap Forward

For many years The Brightwell has been committed to its Sustainability Pledge,  as well as fostering and encouraging a “green approach” to all it does.

Over the years a number of sustainable projects were undertaken with a major step forward in 2019 when a corporate supporter Solarsense generously installed 114, 250 kWh solar panels, that had been donated to them for Charitable purposes and we were fortunate to be one of the recipients.

 



Thanks to the power generated by these panels, this has saved the Charity thousands of pounds, which has been vital during the period of rapidly increasing energy bills.


It has also been a long term aim to raise funds to install our own batteries to store any excess power generated.

 

Other green projects have included the conversion of the outside lighting to LED, again paid for by a corporate donor, and the gradual replacement of internal lighting to low energy use, although this is still work in progress.


In the summer of 2023, Woodstock Homes, who are a major donor to The Brightwell, offered us a large amount of solar panels which were on buildings they had purchased for redevelopment.

 

After much investigation, led by Steve Cocks, one of The Brightwell’s Trustees, with an in-depth knowledge of the Charity’s sustainability aims and plans, it was disappointingly realised that due to the age of the panels being offered, plus cost of removing and then installing them, it was not a viable proposition.

 

Steve was supported all the way through his investigations by the expert team at Solarsense who came up with a proposal to supply us with brand new panels, and it made sense to look at the battery situation at the same time.


However, The Brightwell did not have allocated  funds to pay for this major  capital expense. Incredibly, Solarsense supported by Total  Access Scaffolding  and CEF Electrical offered to provide their services at cost and supplied the equipment at a heavily discounted price. This generous subsidy represents a substantial contribution to The Brightwell, as part of Solarsence’s Charitable targets. enabling us to have an additional 40 x 400 kWh panels and a new inverter, this now brings the Centre’s potential generation to 46kWh. As well as this incredible support, Solarsense were also able to offer the 3 x 14kWh Tesla batteries as part of this project.


Victoria Hocquard, Head of Fundraising,  had already raised some funding through the Quartet Community Foundation, the Albert Hunt Trust and an anonymous Trust,  but we were then faced with a shortfall which Martin Newman, CEO of Woodstock Homes kindly donated. Enabling us to proceed with the batteries to complete the project.


As many of you may have seen, when visiting the Centre, the installation of the batteries and solar panels took place before Christmas



Doro Pasantes, CEO of The Brightwell, explains the benefits and impact of all this new equipment.

“With energy costs rising for commercial properties such as Bradbury House, the costs would have been extremely high without these steps having been taken. This means when the sun is out and even just on a bright day, we will generate enough power to run the centre, even the oxygen generation plant. On days when the sunlight is particularly bright  nothing will go to waste as we have such good storage capacity. We are exceptionally grateful to all the businesses involved for their generosity and commitment to The Brightwell.”



Everyone at The Brightwell is so grateful to all those who have been so generous with their time and financial contributions who made this major project possible. Not only does it mean that we have fulfilled so many of our sustainability targets but we will be making significant financial savings  over the years to come.

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