North of England Community Energy Case Study Showcase

Event summary – what we covered

Visit YouTube to see the full webinar: HERE

This event forms part of the Community Energy North Autumn webinar series run by the North West Net Hub and the North East and Yorkshire Net Zero Hub supported by Community Energy South.

Helen Seagrave from Electricity North West and the Chair of Community Energy England kicked off the webinar.

1MW Wind Turbine to power a leisure Centre:

Dave Green from Share Energy representing Southport Community Energy. Looking at a 1MW wind turbine (EWT DW61) at £2m with a large community benefit fund that would power a leisure centre. Sefton Council Planning Department have accepted the turbine is acceptable, it is considered as repowering as there is already a smaller wind turbine onsite. There have been extensive public meetings locally. Getting lots of support for wind with a clear rationale for the need to locate it. Planning consultants are preparing the planning application and considerations to the local protected sand dunes. Undertaking noise studies. The decision to go with a larger turbine means that the turbine.

Solar Powered Community Buildings

Andy Dean, CEO at Community Action Northumberland

Part of the ACRE Network and support Village Halls and community buildings. Provide Warm homes and energy advice, employment hubs.

Solar Powered Community Buildings looking to reduce carbon and cost for community buildings. The project supports community resilience in particular for community buildings to support buildings with independent power supplies. A mix of buildings small and big mean that the economies of scale of working on multiple projects are much more beneficial. Including batteries is important CAN is working on this project with the Rural Design Centre, the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise and are looking at 19 community buildings initially with an additional 20 buildings have joined. Have bolstered the RCEF feasibility funding with National Lottery Funds that will support the first installs. Planning for a cooperative model where all the buildings would be members. The project will look to balance community finance with grant funds and can access other funding from Northern Power Grid, Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal and the Rural England Prosperity Fund.

Plan to launch project during National Village Halls week in January 2023.

EV’s and Derwent Valley Car Club – Susan Ross

Launched in 2014 supported by National Lottery supporting a rural area car club. Run by the community and socially inclusive. Includes a voluntary drivers service as well supporting non drivers. Using a car club can save more than £3500 year than owning a private car. All the cars are EVs. The cheapest car club in the UK £5/month membership. The voluntary driver service has real social benefits. Covid was an impact but since we have noticed behaviour change, more Mum’s around average age of 30 are using the service. People are keen to use less car journeys and car sharing is proving reduction of car usage. Having a car club in a rural area can support community EV charging points.
We offer information on how to develop a car club particularly in rural areas. We want to collaborate and share our learnings. We have e-bike solution and are looking at a national car club cooperative reducing back office administration.
Facebook @derwentvalleycarclub

Mill Beck Hydro Scheme – Derek Poate

In 2018, a small group was set up by MBC to undertake some feasibility work on possibilities for hydro. Border Hydro conducted an initial site search, and three becks were selected as most feasible. These were Whit Beck, Lorton, Mosedale Beck, Loweswater and Mill Beck, Buttermere. Mill Beck was chosen as the most feasible of these.
Melbreak Renewable Energy CIC (MRECIC) is developing a 45kW hydro-electric scheme on Mill Beck in Buttermere. The cost of building the scheme is estimated to be roughly £300k, and revenue will be earned from electricity sales to a local hotel and power exported into the Grid. Capital will be raised by a public share issue. More information here.

Norham Development Trust- Jim Greenwood

Norham Development Trust was formed in 2019 to promote regeneration in the Parish which is the second most northerly Parish in England. Having been made aware of the availability of funding to carry out a feasibility study into the options for generating renewable energy in the community we obtained such funding from RCEF in the spring of 2021.
The study concluded that a 34 acre site for solar PV with on output of 8.9MW together with a single wind turbine with .9MW of output provided the best solution, with a total capital expenditure of approximately £10m. Northumberland County Council have been very supportive of the project and together with RCEF and a local community trust provided funding for phase 2 of the project.
A community event fully supported the project and reports are now being prepared with a view to applying for full planning permission in the summer of 2023. We are working with Community Energy South to explore further funding opportunities, future business model and community funding examples. More details here.