West of England Local Energy Scheme

West of England Local Energy Scheme 2020-02-06T13:49:02+00:00

As part of our West of England Low Carbon Challenge Fund, we’re offering funding for small-scale, renewable energy generation projects.

You will need to have a planning permission in place by the end of June 2020 to be able to apply.

What are the benefits?

The micro-generation of renewable energy provides the UK with clean, low cost energy. It is part of the UK’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases. Community energy projects can create a real sense of community cohesion, based on a shared concern for the local and global environment.

How much grant is available?

There is £500,000 in total, which will be awarded as one or more grants. You can apply for between £100,000 to £500,000 to cover 40% of eligible, capital costs.

What can the grant be used for?

Micro-generation projects that:

  • use renewable energy sources such as solar, renewable heat, biomass, wind, water or sea;
  • deliver additional megawatt (MW) capacity (up to 5MW, but we anticipate 1-2 MW for the total grant);
  • make greenhouse gas savings;
  • are innovative.

How will funding be prioritised?

We welcome projects that:

  • offer value for money;
  • are financially viable;
  • are deliverable;
  • support other community energy projects in the West of England region;
  • deliver local community benefits;
  • promote the benefits of low carbon solutions to stakeholders such as local residents and businesses.

Is my organisation eligible to apply?

  1. Are you a community-focused, small business?  Your organisation can be any type of legal entity; however, charities can only apply through a trading arm. You should be a small or medium sized enterprise, with no more than 250 employees. (See the User Guide to the SME Definition for more information)
  2. Are you based in the West of England region? Your organisation and your project must be based in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire local authority areas.

Is my project eligible?

  • Do you know what project you want to deliver?  Have you identified a location? Do you know what technology will be used?  Have you designed and costed your project? Do you have community support for your project?
  • Do you have access to funds to cash flow your project expenditure? You must be able to cashflow your project.  Grants will be paid only against agreed milestones and for money that has actually been spent.
  • Can you afford to meet 60% of the costs of your project?  You must be able to pay 60% of the costs.  This cannot be paid using any other public money.  You cannot claim pre-registered Feed in Tariff (FIT) or Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) income for this project.
  • Will all expenditure be incurred within two years of the grant award?  You must be able to deliver the project by 30 April 2022.
  • Can you implement your project only if you receive support from this fund? You cannot apply for projects where legal agreements have already been entered into with installers or suppliers or you have started works.
  • Do you have the agreement of the landlord or land owner, if relevant? You will need to have this in place by the time you apply.
  • Will you have planning permission in place?  You will need to have full planning permission by the end of June 2020.
  • Have you started discussions with your distribution network operator about connection capacity and costs? You will need to have a formal offer by the time of your application.
  • Can you demonstrate how your project will support the delivery of a named low carbon strategy and the UK’s Renewable Energy Road MapYou must link your project to a local, city, local authority district or local enterprise partnership strategy and the UK’s Road Map.
  • Is there an independent assessment of any innovative technologies you intend to use?  An organisation such as a university must have verified the technology through a design to proof of concept process.
  • Have you read and understood our procurement guidance? Available on this webpage.

When is the grant available?

Full applications can be submitted anytime between Monday 3 – Friday 28 February 2020.  Grant award will be made at the end of April 2020.

How do I apply?

In the first instance, please let us know that you are thinking of applying by completing the attached Expression of Interest Form and emailing it to LCCF@westofengland-ca.gov.uk. For an informal discussion about the Scheme please call 0117 3321520. You may also be able to get support to develop your project from the West of England Energy Hub.

How is this funded?

The West of England Local Energy Scheme is part of the £1.7 million Low Carbon Challenge Fund (LCCF), managed by WECA and funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  Established by the European Union, ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  This is confirmed funding and will be unaffected by Brexit.

Why are WECA supporting this?

The LCCF supports WECA’s aim to create a diverse, resilient, and affordable energy system that enables economic growth whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with national targets.  The LCCF will also fund Green Business Grants to support energy efficiency improvements in small businesses.

Application form
Grant guidance
Procurement guidance
SME definition