Tamar Energy Community (TEC), our local energy cooperative owned and run by the community, is thrilled to have secured a £20,000 RCEF grant. This will enable us to pay for the detailed feasibility work for our ‘Community Solar Roofs Project’.
RCEF is a £15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community. For more information on RCEF, visit www.wrap.org.uk/renewables
Our ‘Community Solar Roofs Project’ is TECs first community scale project to generate energy locally, funded and owned by the community. The project will install solar panels on a number of roofs across the area from Callington to Buckland Monachorum, including four local schools and colleges and three community facilities. If successful, the project will have a capacity of just under half a megawatt hour of power – sufficient for over 130 homes (equivalent).
The project will benefit our community in several ways, providing:
- local people with an investment opportunity with a fair rate of return
- reduced cost electricity to the organisations who have the solar panels installed on their roofs
- a community benefit fund to support local projects
- part time employment for a TEC administrator
- support for learning about local energy generation as part of the school curriculum
- a reduction in the amount of energy that needs to be imported from outside the community, and a contribution to our local and national electricity generation needs
- work for local businesses who will do the installations and ongoing maintenance.
Transition Tavistock’s study on the local energy economy (Tavistock and District Local Economic Blueprint) estimated that £40m per annum is spent across Tavistock and its southern linked parishes on heat and power. With much of this being spent with national and international companies, the more we can generate locally, (as well as reducing how much we use), the more money we keep within our local economy (http://www.transitiontavistock.org.uk/working-groups/tavistock-and-district-local-economic-blueprint/).
TEC’s professional partners to deliver the detailed feasibility work are Communities for Renewables (www.cfrcic.co.uk/) led by Jake Burnyeat and Rosie Gillam and Plymouth Energy Community (www.plymouthenergycommunity.com/) led by Jon Selman. Our TEC team is led by the two Kates (Royston and Dibble).
Kate Royston, TEC’s coordinator said “A lot of people have invested a lot of time to help make this project happen, and we’re excited to see it getting off the ground. We’d like to thank Devon County Council and RegenSW for their help from the Devon Accelerator Fund which helped pay for our initial work in the autumn and, importantly, to WRAP and the RCEF fund which will help pay for the next steps. We hope that as many people as possible, locally, are able to benefit from this community project.”
We’ll keep everyone informed of progress through the project, particularly via facebook (Tamar Energy Community) and twitter (@TamarTec). Please like and follow us!
For further information please contact Kate Royton (firstname.lastname@example.org; 07969-569-444).