The Good Life

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The Good Life

The Good Life

October 25, 2020 Read

We have been featured in the most recent issue of “The Good Life”!

I had a great chat with editor Tim Harrison over a coffee at Cafe Rosa on Alexandra Drive.

I can’t find a link to the article text, but the full issue is available as a PDF here

The article reads:

Picture this. Free clean power and no bills. That’s the vision of James Richardson, who believes a concerted community effort can take Berrylands off the national grid and literally generate money.

He’s seeking like-minded souls to form a non-profit and is convinced it could become a template for other UK neighbourhoods. James, 45, of The Ridings set up to enlist support to make Berrylands a pioneering zero-carbon zone.

Some houses already have solar panels, but his vision involves combining the roof potential of hundreds of homes, storing the electricity, and sharing costs and income. “Household Electricity bills keep going up, yet there’s huge capacity on people’s roofs”, he said.

Any aesthetic objections would be outweighed by zero bills and a future of clean unlimited power.

James argues that different households have different patterns of usage, with some homes empty during the day, and others occupied. “Link them together, and you get a more resilient system”, he said.

He has already calculated which directions roofs face.

Rooftop-generated power could be stored in boxes like the green electric feeder pillars that already proliferate on streets.

Grants would be available, says the software engineer, pointing out that the days of gas a numbered and that the demand for alternative electrical systems if growing.

“It’s a project that needs more than the skills of one person”, he said, “We’d need engineering, legal, marketing and project management skills… bit its possible as Berrylands is very community-minded. If something like this is to work, this is a good place to try.”

Cabling links between houses could also be used for fibre broadband sharing.

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