The OSCE CHOICES project begins construction

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January 28th, 2016

Owen Square Community Energy is delighted to announce that CHOICES project is beginning construction installing ​a new low­carbon CHOICES Energy Centre in Owen Square park in Easton. Owen Square Community Energy which will own and operate the new Energy Centre will supply heat and power initially to two community buildings, Easton Community Centre and the Asian Health and Social Care Association with plans to extend to further buildings and homes over the next few years.
Owen Square park is managed by the King George V Memorial Trust and Bristol City Council who have given final approval for the project. Councillor Afzal Shah, Chair of the King George V Memorial Trust will inaugurate the construction works.

The CHOICES Energy Centre is a pioneering and innovative project to test new technology that captures and stores summer heat for use in winter using air and ground source heat pumps. The CHOICES Energy Centre will initially provide carbon savings of 38 percent rising to 66 percent over 20 years. The Department of Energy and Climate Change will pay the £694,000 set­up costs​of the pilot project.

Bristol Energy Cooperative has raised over £1,000,000 already of a £5,000,000 goal for solar PV in Bristol and has funded the installation of solar panels to run the CHOICES Energy Centre.

Project notices will soon be appearing around the park. To protect the public during construction the park will be closed, however the basketball court and cyclepath access will remain open and accessible to everyone. The park will reopen by March 30th, 2016. For safety reasons and to prevent damage, certain trees will also be cordoned off during the construction period.

We would particularly like to thank local residents and the wider community for the overwhelmingly positive support for the project and the feedback during the consultation process.

Feedback from the consultation process demonstrated the people of Easton could really see the long term benefits of having a low­carbon, renewable and local source of heat energy in their community. The project has benefited from being firmly rooted in the community as the
majority of people who have worked so hard to see the project come to fruition are based in and around Easton. In further response to your feedback the team will be repairing the stairs on the south side of the park as we seek to further improve the park.

The project is already firmly rooted in the community as the partner organisations are based in Bristol, not least CHOICES consortium partner Clean Energy Prospector based in Easton Business Centre. Many people have worked incredibly hard to get the project funded and
approved to proceed to construction phase. Residents who wish to have further information about the project will find copies of the following plans available at the reception of Easton Community Centre: a design and access statement, tree protection plan, noise impact assessment, construction transport plan and a site environmental plan. Easton Community Centre officer Julien Weston will be the
first point of contact for local residents.