Solar co-op does more than just co-operate

Fiona Nicholls, a Partner at Sustainable Change Co-operative, is also a Founder Director of St John's Sunshine (SJS), a registered society and volunteer-run community energy co-operative where all members have an equal say. Fiona's involvement came about following an introduction to John Hughes, a community leader, who wanted to put solar panels on the roof of a church in Old Trafford not too far from her home. John wanted more than just another solar project and new of Fiona's passion for co-ops and the environment, and the two hit it off immediately. Two other Founders - Pete Abel and Gavin Wood - also came on board.

Fiona guided the choice of objectives, Governance structure and rules and managed the solar photovoltaic (PV) installer relationship and contracts, liaised with specialist providers (e.g. legal support), led on the community share offer documents and helped with marketing. The result is a unique urban enterprise that has a successful share offer under its belt,10kW of solar panels on the roof, revenue distributed as 'Sunshine Grants' and investor interest and 25years of energy savings for the adjacent St John's community centre.

 

Fiona continues to be involved as a member investor, advisor and friend.