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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:

SE Essential Guide to Pre-accred and Pre-Reg 10 Sep 2015

Oxford, UK. 5th September 2015. The second annual Community Energy Awards held at the Said Business School. L-R: Jon Halle (Share Energy) accepting the award for Community Energy Champion from Matt Criddle (Naturesave, sponsor). Photo: Andrew Walmsley

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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!


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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.

landfill solar

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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.


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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!


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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.


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Heartland Community Wind is over a third of the way to the target with nearly £700,000 raised to date but we’ve still got plenty of shares available. We’re therefore extending the share offer until 10 July 2015

We’ve had a lot of interest in the share offer – 1500 share offer documents have gone out to date – but not everybody has taken the plunge yet. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the project please do call us on 01743 277119 or email info@heartlandwind.org.uk – we’re very happy to answer any questions you may have, whatever they may be. See www.heartlandwind.org.uk for all the details

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There has been a lot of activity over the last month to make progress on the hydro scheme. We have been having detailed discussions with both civil contractors and hydro turbine installers to come to decisions about the actual construction process.

Regarding the supply and installation of the turbine, during the development phase we worked with Mann Power to prepare the planning application and environment agency licence, however, it was always understood that we would get competitive quotes when we go to the stage of the actual construction. Therefore, over the last month we have approached other installers to get alternative quotes. These are now in and the result is that we have decided that the quote from Mann Power stlll offers the best value for money and have informed them that, subject to the signing of a contract on the civil engineering and raising of the last £40,000 of share capital, we would use Mann Power for the turbine supply and installation. We have had a very good relationship with Mann Power during the development phase and look forward to working with them on the construction phase.

To be able to go ahead we also need to have a contract for the civil engineering. With help from Mann Power, we have been having detailed discussions with two civil contractors looking at the fine detail of how the installation would be carried out. We are confident that within a few days we will have a civil contractor lined up that can do the installation this summer.


Picture of Heartland Launch

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A road show about the Heartland Community Wind project will be hitting Scotland. The events are being organised by Sharenergy on behalf of the group and will include a presentation from Sharenergy’s Jon Hallé on how community benefit societies work and can fund projects, a round up by renewable energy company RM Energy on the project and the management of a wind installation, plus an opportunity to ask questions about this share offer.

Everyone is welcome and there is no obligation to become a shareholder! Free to attend and nearly all venues are central with good public transport and nearby parking. Light refreshments will be available.

Event dates and further details are on the Eventbrite page. Sign-up isn’t essential but helpful to indicate numbers.

Edinburgh 26th May 12.30 pm, Heyweight House, Lauriston St, EH3 9DQ. Eventbrite page here.
Perth 1st June 12.30 pm, The Royal George Hotel,Tay Street, PH1 5LD. Eventbrite page here.
Glasgow 2nd June 12.30 pm – The Lighthouse, G1 3NU. Eventbrite page here.
Edinburgh 2nd June 7.00 pm, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, EH1 1LZ. Eventbrite page here

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Heartland Community Wind will be launching its main share offer in Aberfeldy on Tuesday April 28th 2015 in the Birks Cinema at 7pm.

The share offer will raise the remaining funds needed to construct the two medium-scale turbines, which have planning consent and are due to be operational by November 2015. Just over one million remains to be raised after a very successful ‘pioneer’ share offer which raised £450,000 to place turbine orders.

The main share offer will focus strongly on maximising local involvement and ownership of the Society, although people from outside the area will also be able to become members. Local people will have priority for share applications, and we are reducing the minimum investment to £100. Members will also get a vote on the community fund, generous tax reliefs under the EIS scheme, as well as interest payments on their share capital.

The launch event will include a short presentation explaining the project and how to join the Society, and a chance to meet some of the people who have been working on it to date. Light refreshments will be available.

The launch will include the announcement that Heartland Community Wind will also establish an annual bursary fund of £5,000 for students travelling to Perth College UHI from the PH15 postcode (Aberfeldy and Kenmore), where the renewable energy project will be sited.

Five students will receive £1,000 a year from the Community Benefit Society’s funds to help them with the costs of further or higher education. The link-up between the project and the college will be formally announced and an outline agreement signed when the main share offer for the project is launched at the Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, on Tuesday.

Perth UHI students

Margaret Munckton, Principal of Perth College UHI, said: “This is an exciting project which is benefiting young people in a highly creative way – and I am very pleased that the college can be part of it.”

John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, whose Perthshire North constituency covers the PH15 postcode, said: “This is an impressive and innovative way to ensure local communities derive genuine benefits from wind turbine developments. Decisions will be made locally, not in some far-away corporation’s HQ.

“I am supportive of the sensitive development of clean and carbon-cutting energy in Scotland – and this project is especially positive because young people from the area will benefit in furthering their studies.”

Jon Hallé, Director of Sharenergy, said: “These turbines will be owned 100 per cent by members, who will pay into a local community benefit fund at twice the rate of commercial wind farms – and we are delighted local students will benefit. Members will be helping young people to study and to transform their lives.”

A small panel, including a Heartland director, will examine annual applications for the bursaries and judge which students will gain most from a fund award. Successful students will be asked to report annually on their progress at college and have regular contact to help ensure a positive outcome for their studies.