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What is the Local Energy Scheme? European Regional Development Fund

The Local Energy Scheme supports and funds renewable energy projects of under 5 megawatts (MW) in the West of England.

The scheme has already awarded £500,000 to Ambition Community Energy (ACE) to build a 150-metre wind turbine in Avonmouth. This is a community-led project and will support the delivery of the Ambition Lawrence Weston Community Plan.

View Case Study

2021 Grant Round

Our next round of Local Energy Scheme grants of £800,000 for capital costs will be launched in autumn/winter 2021. This includes Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Use this postcode checker to find your local council. Organisations of any size can apply, but larger organisations must be able to demonstrate their eligibility. All applicants must be incorporated as a legal business entity. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their projects are value for money, achievable and financially viable.

Projects will need to have either full planning consent or a reasonable chance of gaining this by the grant award date in early 2022. Funded projects will need to be up and running by March 2023.

Projects can include any non-fossil fuel source. This includes wind and solar projects, aero-thermal, geothermal, hydrothermal and hydropower. Projects in biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment gas and biogases will also be considered.

Projects must:

  • be innovative in the technology they use or their business model
  • bring benefits to the local community
  • promote low carbon solutions to local stakeholders
  • share their learning with other business or community energy projects
  • explore ways to improve bio-diversity.

The ACE Wind Turbine in Avonmouth will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 3,850 homes.

How is the Local Energy Scheme funded?

The Local Energy Scheme is part of the Low Carbon Challenge Fund (LCCF). This is managed by the Combined Authority and funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (£2.1m) and the West of England Recovery Fund (£1.9m). The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for 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 the EU transition.

The Local Energy Scheme helps deliver the West of England Combined Authority’s West of England Climate Emergency Action Plan. It also supports the West of England Recovery Plan to achieve a green recovery following COVID-19.

Solar Panels on large roof 

The South West Energy Hub

Organisations who want to partner with the West of England to create a resilient and affordable energy system can get further advice from the South West Energy Hub. The Hub offers support in developing and implementing local energy projects as well as step-by-step advice for business cases, from planning to financing.

Visit Energy Hub site