Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) has been awarded the 2019 Community Energy Photograph Award.

Bill McLaughlin who produces a community newspaper in Irlam and Cadishead, Salford took the winning image. The photograph features children from Irlam Primary School and Fiddlers Lane Primary School, both in Irlam, at an event organised by GMCR to celebrate the installation of solar arrays on their school roofs. Also pictured are two GMCR volunteers, and one of GMCR’s directors, Ali, in a sunshine costume, alongside the installer, Ben Nuttall of NPS Solar, and the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, all gathered round a solar panel and cake.

The image captures the essence of community energy. It features people; community energy relies on people coming together with a shared goal of helping the environment and the community. This image captures the different groups who contributed to the success of the GMCR school roofs project, from the political support of the council, to the volunteers who dedicated hours of their time and perseverance, members who invested, and the children who have learnt about the environment. The installer went to both schools and spoke in assembly about how he installed the panels. It puts energy at the heart of the image; the photo is clearly about energy featuring the sun costumes and the solar panel. It’s also fun. While there is much desk-based work in a community energy project, there is also opportunity to celebrate successes together and that's why there is cake.

Other shortlisted images are shown below. Many thanks to everyone who submitted a picture this year!