The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the organisation dedicated to supporting the coalfields communities to help themselves, has reached a key milestone, having generated 1MW of electricity from solar panels as a result of its Community Sustainable Energy Programme.

Launched just eighteen months ago, the programme was designed to provide solar power energy for community organisations and charities working within the coalfields communities throughout England, reducing their bills and reliance on imported and commercial energy supplies.

Having completed 29 installations , the Community Sustainable Energy Programme has also saved 348 tonnes of CO2 and has created lasting benefits for the organisations it has worked with, allowing them to rely on a more efficient and cost effective supply of power.

Head of property and assets at the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Graham Wingfield commented: “Putting this achievement into context a normal domestic dwelling relies on 4kWp of energy and we have reached 1MW, 250 times this amount. These organisations are stifled by high energy bills and increasing costs but with solar panels they can shift the balance and benefit from the savings they make.

He added: “It’s about more than putting panels on buildings it is about giving these community groups and charities the chance to create a sustainable business model that will allow them to grow and develop in the future.”

The Community Sustainable Energy Programme is just one of the many projects that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust has developed in order to continue its work. The objective of the organisation is to support the communities throughout England that are still blighted by the closure of the mines more than 25 years ago.

With some 5.5m people living in these areas, and many falling into the 30% most deprived in the country, there is still a lot of work to be done to restore these communities to the thriving villages and towns they once were.