Bright Spark Energy are going off grid with their latest project. We will be working with the Steyning Downland Scheme (SDS), a local nature conservation and community charity based in West Sussex (see The Charity has recently completed the construction of a new 'gateway' building at the entrance to their Nature Reserve for use by schools, community groups and the general public.  The team at Bright Spark will sponsor the gateway building by donating an “off-grid” Solar PV system with battery storage and LED lighting to extend the use of the building to all year round.

“Part of our ethos is to invest our time and profits back into working on local community projects such as the Steyning Downland Scheme.  I was very impressed by the work they have been doing and the positive impact it will have on the local schools and wider community.  Mark Stevenson, Managing Director, Bright Spark Energy.

The Steyning Downland Scheme manage 165 acres of rolling downlands, woodland and ponds on the Wiston Estate in the South Downs National Park.  Teams of up to 170 active volunteers run a calendar of guided walks and other events through the year, monitor and manage the natural habitats, keep a conservation herd of Dexter cattle as well as restoring a disused rifle range dating back to 1860 and maintaining the network of footpaths.

The new gateway building has created a hub for these groups to meet and has made organising things much easier, but a lack of power has been a real issue.

“We’re extremely grateful to Bright Spark Energy for helping us out with a power supply for the Gateway” said Matthew Thomas, SDS Project Manager. “Now we can fit lighting inside, which will be a huge help, particularly for those short, winter days when we do most of our habitat conservation work”.

Bright Spark Energy try to fund a number of charity projects each year and like to support the local communities and in particular schools. After talking to Matthew and the team, we thought the project idea was amazing – we will be installing 4 Solar panels on the new ‘gateway’ roof with battery storage to run lights for their storage container.

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