Two green energy companies have joined forces to deliver an innovative scheme. Brighton Energy Co-operative (BEC) is to launch one of the UK’s first community solar schemes. South Downs Solar has partnered with the Co-op to deliver on a promise that solar still pays, despite Government cuts in the feed-in tariffs.

Will Cottrell, director at the BEC, said £45,000 had been pledged to the community energy scheme. The project was put on hold in November last year, when the Government cut solar subsidies. But Damian Tow, project director at the BEC, said that the time is right for green energy.

He said: “Although the original decision was a disappointment for the BEC, as we were forced to put the project on hold, now couldn’t be a better time.

“The price of solar itself has more than halved recently and a worldwide demand, by both business and residential premises, has smashed the green marketplace.

“As the price of solar continues to fall, the demand will increase both across the corporate and private sectors and is certain to outwit any expected Government changes to feed-in tariffs, as it proves that solar still pays. “ “The project has secured four sites for the installation of solar panels – two at Shoreham Port, one at St George’s Church in Kemp Town and one at City Coast Church in Portslade. Combined they will generate more than 120kW of power – enough to power 40 homes and save 1,085 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The project is looking to raise more than £200,000 from the community to install solar on these buildings. The revenue from the panels will go to the BEC’s members and towards supporting more locally-owned energy projects.

The scheme will be launched at 7.45pm tomorrow at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton when businesses and individuals will pledge their investments. Speakers will also include Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.