UWTSD interns help raise over £473,000 in community solar Shares


Two student marketing interns taken on by Egni Co-op have raised over £473,000 in community shares for the company which is aiming to install 5MW of solar power on 250 sites in Wales.

 Matt and Jordan

Matthew Kilgariff and Jordan Coller from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David have joined Egni Coop as part of a joint effort with the university and National Union of Students called Placements for Good to encourage sustainability in education throughout Wales and the UK.

Egni Co-op, which is aiming to raise £750,000 through the share scheme, is aiming to install up to 5,000 kw of solar on 250 sites across Wales. This will save the sites £8m over the next 30 years and prevent 35,000 tonnes of carbon emissions

Egni is also planning to set up a £2.9m education fund for Welsh schools and universities.  The fund will help with an education officer who will visit schools and support teachers, student internships and the development of resources to enable schools to integrate data from the solar panels and information on renewable energy into a range of lessons.  It will also help with ongoing hosting of free school and university trips to Egni solar sites and Awel Co-op’s community wind farm.

Egni has already worked with schools across Wales, including Ysgol y Bedol in Garnant, delivering talks to pupils about climate change. Solar panels were also installed on the school saving money and cutting its carbon footprint.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David pro vice-chancellor for external engagement and sustainability Jane Davidson said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to work on an all-Wales coop share offer with Egni and I’m delighted to see they’ve already raised more than £473k.

“Sustainability is a focus of our Business Studies course at Trinity St Davids and we’re delighted that our students are able to use their skills to support this project.”

Matthew Kilgariff said: “I have been fortunate to become an intern at the Egni Co-op. It has given me the opportunity to apply my knowledge first hand whilst at the same time helping Egni achieve their environmental and community goals across Wales.

“Learning about the importance and structure of community energy projects such as Egni has enabled me to discover the future possibilities of the sector.

“I believe that incorporating environmental sustainability into my education will give me an advantage in a competitive job market.”

Jordan Coller said: “Through UWTSD’s partnership with ‘Placements for Good’, they were able to find me an internship with Egni Co-op.

“Working as Egni’s marketer, I have learned fundamental skills through experiencing the working/marketing culture, which is not necessarily taught in the classroom.

“For instance, within the social enterprise environment, collaboration is considered more valuable than competition.”

Egni Co-op chair Dan McCallum said: “It’s great to have Jordan and Matthew working with us. They are both very talented and committed. Their enthusiasm and hard work has really helped us.”

Meg Baker, Senior Project Officer – Education for Sustainable Development, National Union of Students, added:

“We are absolutely delighted to see our first two NUS Placements for Good students making genuine social and environmental impact through work based learning at Egni. This is exactly what the programme intended to achieve and it is a pleasure to be working with a forward thinking cooperative who could see the benefits of partnering with students on their work.”

For further information, please visit www.egni.coop or phone 01639 830870.