Rural Community Energy Fund

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What is RCEF?

From heat pumps to hydropower, community energy can make a big difference to sustainability and energy costs in our rural communities in the North East and Yorkshire.

The North East and Yorkshire (NEY) Net Zero Hub was recently awarded more than £302k in Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) funding to support 5 community energy groups to progress innovative community energy projects following successful feasibility studies. The successful projects were:

  • Humshaugh Net Zero CIC – awarded £67,000 to develop a solar PV electricity generation facility to be ready to build in 2023.
  • Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre – secured £53,320 to enable the completion of all necessary pre-development work needed to progress with their work into utilising heat from water flowing through underground mines to contribute to heating their pool.
  • Hartlepower Solar Village Project – awarded £53,000 to deliver a 1.1MW community solar farm on a 4.5 acre site in Greatham Village.
  • Smart Connected Renewable Community Energy (CAN) – received £94,060 to progress the installation of solar panels and associated battery storage at 19 community buildings.
  • Norham Community Energy Project – awarded £34,973 to commission a qualified and experienced consultancy to research the local renewable energy generation opportunities.

This builds on the Hub’s successful earlier RCEF programme delivery of targeted support for enthusiastic rural communities across the Hub geography with £1.7m of investment up to October 2021 used to develop and set up low and zero carbon energy projects in the area.

Applications for the programme were received from parish councils, sports groups, churches and community groups, covering a range of technologies including anaerobic digestion, biomass heat networks, solar projects, and heat pumps.

The Rural Community Energy Fund has now been fully committed and no further rounds of this funding are expected. The Hub will continue to provide support for community energy where possible, check out:

Energy Project Enabling Fund

Community Energy Support

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