Ovesco Limited is an IPS (Industrial and Provident Society for community benefit, a legal not-for-profit type of organisation), regulated by rules prepared by Wessex Community Assets. We have to operate conservatively, our shares can only be sold back to Ovesco (ie are not tradable) and we are required to take overall community benefit into account at all times. Ovesco Limited has five directors: Paul Bellack, Dirk Campbell, Liz Mandeville, Nick Rouse and Chris Rowland. We receive no financial reward of any kind as directors, but Chris currently holds the part-time paid position of general manager.

A worthwhile investment for you – and your community
We plan to offer investors (‘members’) a reasonable rate of interest once the income from the feed-in tariff comes in, but we want to emphasise the community benefit side too. The electricity from this project will go into the National Grid; there will be too little of it to support its own supply structure. But this is the first step towards achieving our goal of supplying local green energy directly to local people, and the first of what we hope will be many projects with owners of local sites. Lewes Football Club is keen to work with us in this way, and we have other site owners waiting to talk to us. So the ultimate goal is to be of direct benefit to local households and businesses, and the Harveys scheme offers more indirect benefits ­ in addition to the interest to be paid to members. Please email OVESCo if you are interested in investing or have questions to ask.

People who would like to generate electricity themselves but whose buildings are not suitable will be able to help generate indirectly, all members will be helping to reduce the risks of global warming and energy insecurity to themselves and their families, and they will be taking part in what we believe to be the first community-funded and -owned solar roof in the country. We hope to be able to offer, with our partners, targeted benefits to local groups as well.

How much can I invest?
In brief, anyone who invests between £250 and £20,000 pounds will become a member with the right to vote at AGMs ­ all with the same voting power. We shall set aside money from the start to respond positively to requests for return of investment, but may not be able to meet all such requests immediately; we will do our best. We are pretty sure that the project will attract tax benefits under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

We are of course concerned about the recent announcement that the feed-in tariff for arrays of under 50kW capacity not installed before 1st August this year will be cut severely. We hope to get our 98kW roof done by then, but we have contingency plans in case that proves impossible, most probably reducing the capacity of any one site to just below 50kW and increasing the number of sites.

Please email OVESCo if you are interested in investing or have any questions to ask. And please tell everyone you know about this unique project. Thank you!