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We set up a community-owned not-for-profit organisation to install hundreds of solar panel on the roofs of Downlands School, providing green cheaper electricity for the school and an investment opportunity for local people. Now we're part of a project to see if the sun can power our local trains. 

HKD Energy aims to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and imported energy through community-owned renewable energy. We want our villages to become more energy efficient and to generate most of the electricity we need from renewable sources. HKD Energy was formed by members of the HKD Transition group.

Community-owned renewable energy projects provide financial returns to investors, as well as ‘social dividends’ to the community, including:

  • Increased energy security

  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change

  • Contribution to de-carbonising the national power sector

  • Demonstration of the value of renewable energy projects

  • Raised awareness of energy issues.

HKD Energy is a Community Benefit Society, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  A Community Benefit Society provides an opportunity for local people to contribute financially to the community with the expectation of both a social dividend and a financial return. Any profit from HKD Energy’s activities is returned to the local community, with the objective of encouraging energy saving, either through direct support or via educational/ awareness initiatives.

​The installation of the solar project at Downlands School on 20 March  2015 was the first project of HKD Energy, a Community Benefit Society whose aim is to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in our area and to deliver benefits to the local community by demonstrating that community energy works.

Working in partnership with Downlands Community School, Hassocks, HKD Energy’s Downlands School Solar project is one of the largest school solar systems in the country:

  • £100,350 of community investment

  • 80kW of solar power (some 307 panels) on the roofs of the school and sports centre

  • Saving some 840 tonnes of carbon over the next 20 years

  • Significantly reducing the school’s energy costs

  • Enabling 6,900 pupils in coming years to learn about renewable energy first-hand

  • Supporting the school’s energy efficiency aims.

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