Community approach to major renewable scheme welcomed
Regen calls on councils to recycle business rates to support community energy
The commitment of Good Energy to work closely with the local community in developing a potential major new 47MW renewable energy scheme has been welcomed today by Regen SW, the independent centre of expertise in renewables. Regen SW has used the announcement to call on Cornwall and other councils to support a community led approach to renewable energy.
Good Energy has today announced proposals for a combined wind and solar farm near Week St Mary in North Cornwall that could include up to 14 wind turbines and 75 acres of solar panels with a combined potential output of 47MW that could power around 20,000 homes. Good Energy have committed to offering cheaper electricity, long-term community investment and are engaging directly with every household within 5 km of the potential project.
Regen SW has been working to encourage partnerships between developers and communities through its Communities for Renewables community support programme and participation in a Government taskforce.. Regen recently wrote to Chief Executive of all south west councils calling on them to use the business rates from renewable energy (that they will be able to keep from 1 April 2013) to support community energy groups.
Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW commented “it is pleasing to see Good Energy and many other developers are now committed engaging with and providing more benefits to local communities. Renewable energy schemes can provide cheaper power and funding for local projects as well as replacing overseas fossil fuel imports with secure and sustainable energy from our local resources”.
He continued “From 1 April 2013 local authorities will be able to keep business rates from renewable energy projects. Regen is calling on them to use these to support community energy groups to develop renewable energy schemes that benefit the whole community.”
Notes to editors
1. For information on Good Energy’s new proposed project contact Ed Gill, Head of External Affairs, Good Energy, 07891 740733, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. For information on Regen’s Communities for Renewables community support project – including examples of inspiring community energy projects see http://communities4renewables.co.uk/community_support_programme
3. Merlin Hyman, Regen SW Chief Executive, sits on DECC community engagement and benefits stakeholder advisory group.
4. A copy of the letter to Chief Executives is at http://regensw.co.uk/news/2012/10/24/letter-to-local-authorities---renewable-energy-community-projects-and-retention-of-business-rates
5. For more information of campaigns to support renewable energy go to http://www.actionforrenewables.org/
6. Regen SW is supporting the development of community business models through its European INTERREG project ACE.
For further information and interviews
Please contact Merlin Hyman, Regen SW chief executive on 01392 494399 or 0779 2197567
About Regen SW
Regen SW is a not for profit company working to enable business, local authorities and other organisations to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency and build a prosperous low-carbon economy in the south west of England. www.regensw.co.uk