Battling against wind and snow, Heartland’s fabulous installation team have managed to get both turbines up on the site in mid-Scotland. Congratulations to all at RM Energy and colleagues, and to members of Heartland Wind Co-op which is now fully subscribed.
With only days to go before tax relief is removed for shares in community energy projects, there are still shares available in several projects, with EIS and SEIS reliefs available.
If you are still keen to show your support for community energy and benefit from the tax reliefs which will make your money go further, please see the offers on our live page – wind, solar and hydro projects from Shetland to Dorset.
For any questions, please call 01743 277119 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The treasury have announced the removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme tax relief for community energy projects with almost immediate effect – and will not be replacing it with Social Investment Tax Relief, as promised.
This means that members of community energy projects will be ineligible for the tax reliefs of SEIS, EIS and SITR for shares issued from November 30th 2015 (where projects are also in receipt of FIT or ROCs etc).
This change has come with no warning and was announced directly to the House of Commons last week as an addition to the Finance Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament. Community energy advocates around the country have been taken aback by this unexpected statement, the speed with which changes are being made, and the reversal of earlier announcements on the intention to replace EIS with SITR. There appears to be no mechanism to challenge this decision.
We are urging everyone to take this opportunity to help all projects with live share offers to meet their share offer targets swiftly. The change does not affect any existing shareholding or applications with us, unless you are still to make payment.
New share offer closing dates – 20-26 November
A whole host of excellent projects have shares available. All have wider community and environmental benefits as well as offering a fair return to members. All these share offers will now have a closing date of NOVEMBER 20-26th 2015 . It is possible there will be one or two more opening soon too, please check our live page for updates
Support community energy
All of these projects have been in development for months, if not years (in one case almost 2 decades!), led chiefly by volunteers keen to tackle climate change by using renewable resources in their area.
Please support them to reach their targets, spread the word to others keen to support and contact your MP to complain about the unfair treatment of community energy.
In defiance of the bad news over Feed-in Tariffs, there are some great new share offers launching this month from Societies who have managed to pre-accredit their projects. We’ve been proud to support Nadder Community Energy who are installing over 400kW of solar in Wiltshire, and news will be coming soon of share offers from Carmarthenshire Energy and Fetlar Wind in the Shetland lslands. In the meantime Heartland Wind have started construction of their twin turbines and have some shares still available, and Pomona Solar are running another share offer to extend their system.
Sharenergy have written a brief guide for people developing new projects which may be impacted by some forthcoming government changes.
This practical guide is aimed at supporting groups with the process and time-scales involved in getting your project on the relevant Ofgem systems for pre-accreditation and pre-registration. It has been completed to supplement rather than replace advice from Ofgem.
The guide is aimed at those who are working on 50kW+ renewable energy projects which are currently in planning and will be seeking to pre-accredit and for groups who have smaller PV projects which they wish to pre-register. If you are in either of these positions and wish to talk the project through with us in more detail, please call and one of our development team will be happy to help.
You can download our Essential Guide to pre-registration and pre-accreditation for community energy projects from here:
Sharenergy is delighted that Jon Hallé was honoured with an award for ‘Community Energy Champion’ at the annual Community Energy Awards at the weekend. We have seen his tireless dedication at close hand for the last few years, so it was great to see that more widely celebrated.
As colleague, Leila Sharland, put it “As the newest member of the development team at Sharenergy, I was immediately impressed by Jon’s breadth and depth of knowledge. He has taught me a huge amount in a short period and I have witnessed first hand the dedication he has shown to community energy. He is a credit to the community energy community and truly deserves this award.”
Adam Twine, the farmer from Wiltshire/Oxfordshire border who is behind the Westmill Wind Farm and Westmill Solar project (on his land) also entered the Community Energy hall of fame. Well done to Adam too!
Pomona’s first 140 kW solar array was commissioned on 23rd June on time and on budget, a feather in the cap of any engineering project. The Pomona board are also delighted to announce that the array is now feeding power to Hereford Casks, a local company making casks for the independent brewing industry. Chris Strange, Owner of Hereford Casks says “The scheme will help our business, because we will be able to buy some of our electricity from the solar cooperative more cheaply that we buy it from the grid”.
The Stoke Edith based, community energy project is building 250 kW of ground mounted solar PV. The scheme is on target to complete the final 3 sections, which will follow Western Power’s upgrade of the main grid transformer. This final phase will result in the supply of solar electricity to two more local businesses.
The Pomona board are dedicated to supporting the local community and will be endowing a community fund using some of the scheme’s profit. This will provide approximately £1000 pa to be distributed to local good causes. Some profit will also go to shareholders in the form of interest, projected to average approximately 6% over 20 years, and repayment of share capital.
As a co-operative, the scheme embodies all the international co-operative values of democracy, equality, community engagement, education and open membership.
New Leaf Solar has submitted a planning application for a solar park on a closed landfill site at Stretton Sugwas in Herefordshire. New Leaf Solar is a Hereford-based community group and has been working closely with Sharenergy for the past year to be able reach this stage.
Sharenergy advisor on the project, Leila Sharland, said “This has been one of the most challenging renewable energy projects I have worked on. The site has complications with the management of the landfill gas as well as the usual development issues to be mindful of such as visual impact, ecology, historic buildings etc. I am so pleased that an excellent planning application has now been submitted meaning the project is one step closer to going ahead and urge as many people as possible to take five minutes to write in support and to give the council a strong reason to approve the scheme.”
A suggested letter of support will soon be available on the website for the project (http://www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/node/1765) or supporters can make a submission directly to the council via the council’s website (https://goo.gl/GtXk2x)
– 1MW system on a closed landfill site.
– Sufficient clean electricity to supply over 150 households.
– A fresh use for a site which is otherwise unusable.
– A low impact scheme with wide community involvement and ownership.
– If you are local or know the area please say so – and say that you don’t expect the PV to impact on your enjoyment!
Please use the planning application reference number (P151697/CD4).
Another Sharenergy supported project, Bury Community Hydro, will also be going into planning shortly – watch this space for details.
Heartland Community Wind has now raised £1.4m of the £1.8m needed and has now confirmed that it is definitely going ahead. Shares in the project are still available -see www.heartlandwind.org.uk for all the details.
The project has full planning permission, grid connection, Feed-in Tariff locked in, and will see 2 turbines situated at an altitude of over 500m on a windy moor in central Scotland. Project surplus will go to provide scholarships for local young people, while members will benefit from EIS tax relief – 30% of money invested back from the taxman!
Most projects we work with prioritise local members – but at the same time welcome supporters from outside their local area.
We mapped the members of community energy groups we have been closely involved with since we incorporated in 2011 – it’s great to see how wide the spread of people is. Even the smallest projects often have members from quite far away- people who have connections to that area, or who just like the idea of being involved with a certain project. It’s a great way for city dwellers to share in projects which often depend on wilder weather.