It was decided that an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community was the ideal legal form with which to achieve these aims and objectives. BWCE was set up so that it should benefit not only its investors but also the community from where they draw their support. So a major part of their work is to create benefit for a community fund, using surplus income. The overall aim of the community fund is to support projects which will help mitigate against the effects of peak oil supply and climate change in Bath and surrounding areas.
With nearly 200 members, in 2011, BWCE exceeded their share target and raised £722,000 through a community share offer as well as raising £1 million loan finance from Scottish and Southern Energy to fund 600kW of solar PV installations in up to 12 projects, mainly local school, in the Bath and Corsham area.
Their ambition over the next 15 years is to develop over 25 MW of renewable energy installations – requiring over £50m of investment. Over the next 3-4 years they aim to install 4.5 MW of capacity covering solar photovoltaic, wind and hydro technologies.