The AURORA project in the Forest of Dean
The AURORA project is an innovative project working alongside talented partners in universities in Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Denmark and Germany to share learnings and best practice.
In the Forest of Dean, the project is a partnership between Forest of Dean District Council, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and a resident-led community energy group called Forest Community Energy to drive forward community energy in the local area.
Forest Community Energy is about people joining together to generate and use energy differently in the Forest of Dean. The project is working with Big Solar Coop to develop a solar photovoltaic panel system capable of generating at least 200 kW of renewable energy in the Forest of Dean district. The installation will be on a public or community asset building so that the reduced cost energy helps keep that community asset viable in the long term whilst general operating costs increase.
As well as generating renewable energy, what’s great about this project is the solar installation itself will be owned by everyone who wants to buy a share, via a community shares offer.
The project also aims to raise awareness of personal energy use from transport and home energy use through community events, workshops and an app which you can use to track your energy usage and calculate your individual footprint. Reducing energy use and carbon emissions can help tackle the climate emergency and will also help you to save money.