January 2014: Council approves establishment of Calderdale Community Energy partnership

At its meeting on Monday 27th January Calderdale Councile’s Cabinet approved a report recommending that a community energy company be set up to assist the development of renewable energy schemes by and for the community. A key feature will be that any surplus income generated from the initial renewable energy projects could be directed into a community fund to be used to support further schemes or to provide energy efficiency services improving the well being of Calderdale residents.

The Council has already identified some potential development sites on Council owned land. A full feasibility study has been delivered for hydro electric plant at Cromwell Bottom and a separate ‘first stage’ feasibility study has identified potential for wind energy on Council land.

Calderdale Community Energy (CCE) will be a catalyst for community owned renewable energy generation across Calderdale. It will bring together the Council and communities with their local energy sources and provides the information, expertise and facilitation to ensure that local people benefit directly from locally generated energy.

The Council has chosen a a partnership approach which capitalises on existing experience and ensure that existing projects can be increased in scale. Pennine Community Power Limited have already installed a relatively small 10kW wind turbine which will generate a return to its 65 community investors and is projected to generate over £100,000 of surplus to create capacity for more renewable projects and fund schemes to create environmental benefits in the locality of the turbine; and it has a long standing history of working with the Alternative Technology Centre to deliver a range of energy related projects.

CEC will have relevant expertise in energy and environmental issues, including legal, financial, technical and community development.  The new Company would be the legal vehicle for progressing specific investment projects, to be considered on their merits and with necessary safeguards built in to protect and provide a return on the Council’s investment, and/or assets as preferred.