NICE Launch 2nd Share Offer (press release)

NICE Launch 2nd Share Offer (press release)

On 25th April 2016, Mornington Community Project hosted NICE2 Official Share Offer Launch High demand for low cost electricity from a host of third sector organisations has prompted Northern Ireland’s only solar energy co-operative to launch a second major Community Share offer.  NICE2 Share Offer Document. Almost 40 community organisations have expressed an interest in this ambitious solar energy project that will see their electricity bills slashed in half. Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) today launched NICE2, its second community share offer to raise £130,000, which will enable them to install solar panels free of charge for up to ten charitable and community organisations. Last year NICE – Northern Ireland’s only solar energy co-operative – raised an impressive £150,000 with its first community share issue enabling them to install solar panels to benefit 13 organisations. One of those organisations is the Mornington Community project, hosted today’s launch. It is a member of the co-operative and benefited from free solar panels last year. Heather Carey, Board member of the Mornington Community project, said: “As Mornington continues to grow and expand, the benefits of reduced energy costs means the organisation is able to save and continue to invest in the people of the Lower Ormeau, now and for years to come.” NICE Director Karen Arbuckle said the co-operative, which was launched almost exactly a year ago, has made a big impact in the third sector. She added: “Thirty seven organisations have expressed an interest this time round. Because we were able to achieve so much last year it has given us the incentive to go ahead with another project. There is huge...
Another Shining Accolade for NICE

Another Shining Accolade for NICE

Action Renewables Awards 2016 – NICE Won Best Community Renewable Energy Project On 31st March 2016, Director, Karen Arbuckle represented NICE at Action Renewables 2016 Awards held at Titantic, Belfast.  NICE enjoyed we believe the most competitive and award winner table at the event!  Karen, NICE was seated with Nigel, Lawrence & Louise, Bryson Energy; Tiziana & Rodney, Drumlin Wind Energy Co-Op and Pearce & Zoe, BCH.  Despite the competiveness commaraderie and well wishes were sincere and of course there was a bit of good N.I. craic too. NICE received winning first place in the category Best Community Renewable Energy Project which was sponsored and presented by Belfast Health & Social Care Trust!  A list of all the category results can be found on the Action Renewables website. Of course we couldn’t let the afternoon go without some photographs of the event.  The feature photograph is of NICE ‘shareholders’ Lawrence, Karen and Nigel.  The last photo is Tiziana O’Hara, Co-Operative Alternatives who provided support to NICE through the Community Shares Ready Programme funded by Building Change Trust and Karen,...
A Second NICE Solar PV Project & Community Share Offer!!

A Second NICE Solar PV Project & Community Share Offer!!

The “NICE2” project aims to further add up to 10 solar panel installations at between 4 & 12 Kwp each on the roofs of charities and social enterprises in Northern Ireland. At a recent General Meeting, NICE members supported the Board proposal for a second share offer. Initial financial projections have shown the financial viability of the current plan and projected a potential 4% return on members’ shares plus full share capital repayment. Our plan is to issue the share document mid-April 2016 and complete the potential installations in advance of yet again another policy change at the end of September 2016 which will decrease the ability of communities to own and carry out renewables projects. We have attached a pledge form for your attention which will help us measure the level of interest in the new share offer. If you prefer, you can complete the pledge online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DHXBFMN . It would be ideal if you could send us the form back by the 11th April 2016. Please feel also free to pass it to anyone you know who may be interested to support the project and become a member of NICE. Thank...
NICE ‘One to Watch’ WINNER @ Social Enterprise Awards 2015

NICE ‘One to Watch’ WINNER @ Social Enterprise Awards 2015

NICE a Northern Ireland, pioneering, community energy benefit society, are delighted to have received, SENI’s ‘One to Watch’ 2015 award @ their evening ceremony in the Dunadry Hotel. This was a significant and much appreciated recognition of achievement for our pioneering, Northern Ireland, community owned, renewable energy enterprise.  Anne Ford and Karen Arbuckle split their day & evening attendance @ the Social Enterprise Conference and Evening Awards on 20th October 2015, Dunadry Hotel, Co. Antrim. Click on this link to view video footage of the awards and NICE – SENI 2015 Awards...
NICE Facilitate a Co-Operative Alternatives Study Tour Visit as part of Co-Operative Convergence Fortnight

NICE Facilitate a Co-Operative Alternatives Study Tour Visit as part of Co-Operative Convergence Fortnight

20th October 2015 at NICE Co-Op members – Ashden, North Belfast – 12 kW solar pv installation Tiziana O’Hara and Jo Bird the driving forces behind Co-operative Alternatives organised a very successful Study Tour of Northern Ireland Co-ops plus an international discussion on Co-op responses to Austerity as part of the all-Ireland Co-operative Convergence Festival. On Tuesday October 20 a group of people interested in exploring the co-operative model were taken on a half day tour to see the work of the Northern Ireland Community Energy society, the Belfast Cleaning Co-operative, the Credit Union for Teachers in Northern Ireland in Finaghy Road South and the Creative Workers Co-operative in King Street. Those taking part on the study tour included Anne Ford, from the Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE), whose successful community share offer was supported by the Community Shares, ready! programme commissioned by the Building Change Trust and delivered by Co-operative Alternatives. During the visit Anne Ford showed the PV solar panels installed on the Ashton Centre , explained the aims of NICE, adding that the centre was one of the 13 community and voluntary groups that her co-operative has worked with as part of its mission to encourage the use of more green energy. The reaction to the study tour was very positive from those who took part, including Dr Alastair Herron from Ulster University’s School of Art, who believes that it is a model that could be adopted by graduates looking at career choices after they have completed their studies. He said: “The tour was excellent and very informative. It is great to see local co-operatives developing...
Drumlin Wind Energy & NICE Co-Ops Community Energy Afternoon

Drumlin Wind Energy & NICE Co-Ops Community Energy Afternoon

Held on 5th September 2015 at Breezemount, Connor The weather was absolutely fabulous, a gorgeous, cloudless, very sunny day with a lovely slightly cool good wind, perfect weather conditions for this joint co-operative renewable energy showcase celebrating Community Energy Fortnight 2015. Drumlin and NICE are currently in Northern Ireland pioneering community owned renewable energy co-operatives.  Northern Ireland lags far behind GB, EU and international progress in this industry. Rodney & Karen were the first landowners that entrepreneur Andrew McMurray had approached and signed on board in leasing a site to Drumlin.  Both Rodney as a Board Director and Karen supporting E4all in marketing and communications have been actively involved in Drumlin Wind Energy Co-Operative.  Following this involvement Karen was approached and has been engaged on a voluntary basis as a Director in NICE, Northern Ireland’s first energy co-op established as a community benefit society, an initiative brought about by Cye Bannon. In continuing their support to both co-operatives and community renewable energy initiatives the Arbuckle family were more than happy to host this event to highlight, raise awareness within the local area and wider community, the work of these co-operatives, achievements to date and their desire and commitment to progress promotion and development of community owned renewable energy projects utilising energy efficiency practices and technologies. The co-ops were delighted with the response and support shown for this event.  Some 60 people came along on the day, a diverse mix of interests – co-operative members, neighbours, friends, family and interested groups both North and South Ireland. The Board’s of both Drumlin and NICE wish to convey their thanks and appreciation...
An Invitation to join Drumlin Wind Energy & NICE at their first community renewable energy event!

An Invitation to join Drumlin Wind Energy & NICE at their first community renewable energy event!

Click to Register Saturday 5th September 2015 – 2:00 until 4:00 pm – Breezemount, 66 Parkgate Road, Connor, Ballymena BT42 3PF Marking ‘Community Energy Fortnight’ Northern Ireland’s community energy co-operatives – Drumlin Wind Energy & Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) are jointly holding a community renewable energy afternoon at ‘Breezemount’, Drumlin’s 4th wind turbine location. This is a free community event open to all.  We welcome our members, family, friends and community representatives to come along see first-hand and learn more about Northern Ireland community energy co-operatives and renewable energy.  There will be something of interest for all ages at our fun & relaxed renewable energy day! Directors & technical experts of both co-operatives will be on-hand to discuss & answer any questions about these wind and solar enterprises. You also will have an opportunity to view solar equipment and see inside Drumlin’s wind turbine! We do hope you can join us and would ask that in order to facilitate car parking and catering arrangements you would let us know by clicking the ‘register here’ button above. NB  This event is FREE.  You are welcome to promote your business at this event however you will need to bring your own table/stands should you wish to do so....
Another NICE 12kW Installation done @ YMCA, Londonderry

Another NICE 12kW Installation done @ YMCA, Londonderry

main photo: Jo Bird, Co-Operative Alternatives & NICE Member & Peter Caldwell, Manager YMCA Londonderry.   Just before the bank holiday weekend NICE appointed installers arrived at YMCA Londonderry as scheduled and have mounted the 12kW solar pv array!  Wiring and commissioning will take place after the bank hols. This is NICE 6th installation, free of charge to this Northern Ireland 3rd sector community organisation.  As with all our organisation members this is a great facility which has just commenced doing some updating and extension work. This busy centre will undoubtedly utilise the energy their array will generate and their energy cost savings benefits are already being reinvested in their community building! WIN WIN. Thanks again Jo for climbing the scaffolding with Peter for these great aerial photos done again by Jack Farrell, Hive Studios, Derry – much...
NICE @ Co-Operative Alternatives Event – Showcasing Community Shares in NI

NICE @ Co-Operative Alternatives Event – Showcasing Community Shares in NI

photo left to right:- Nigel McKinney, Building Change Trust; Jo Bird, Co-Operative Alternatives; Laurie Davies, Lacada; Karen Arbuckle, NICE; Tiziana O’Hara, Co-Operative Alternatives; Matthew Dick, Boundary; James Orr, Down to Earth NI. Co-Operative Alternatives invited NICE to join in their Community Shares in Northern Ireland Showcase Event which was held at Boundary Brewery on Thursday 25th June 2015. This event was a celebration of the benefits of community shares and what had recently been achieved by newly established local co-operatives.  Showcasing were Boundary Brewing, Lacada Brewery, Down to Earth NI and Northern Ireland Community Energy – NICE which have raised more than £350k and attracted hundreds of new members. It was a great opportunity to meet, share and learn from the experiences of other local co-operatives.  Whilst the initiatives differed from breweries, burial alternatives to community energy the one we thing we all had in common was a passion for working together in our social enterprises. A fantastic networking event one which will hopefully be replicated again. As previously reported NICE (and the other co-ops mentioned) has been supported by Co-operative Alternatives, a co-operative commissioned by the Building Change Trust to run its Community Shares, Ready! pilot project to increase awareness of Community Shares in Northern Ireland.  Their advice and support was invaluable in helping NICE come to be. A new video featuring interviews with Nigel McKinney from Building Change Trust and Jo Bird and Tiziana O’Hara from Co-operative Alternatives which was shown at the event and can viewed online  CLICK HERE the video incapsulates the services they can provide to new enterprises or developing existing...