Bishop’s Castle in south Shropshire is not on the gas grid, so most of the heating comes from oil and LPG. Carbon emissions can be reduced in two ways; by saving energy and by generating renewable energy.
Part-funded by a grant received from Power to Change (PtC) obtained through Shropshire and Telford Community Energy (STCE), and after extensive research, Sharenergy are proposing a community-owned heat network. The details of the heat network are still to be developed, but it could supply houses, schools, and other community buildings in the town. Ideally, the heat network would be powered by a community owned 1MW wind turbine. This way, every unit of electricity from the turbine could be turned into 3 or 4 units of heat by the heat pumps, and any profit made would go back into funding community projects. A pre-planning application was sent to Shropshire Council in early 2023, and the project finally gained permission to apply for permission for a wind turbine (!) in August 2023 when the Town Council voted unanimously to include the heat and wind project in the local Place Plan. This has given a route to planning and unlocked further funding from Power to Change’s Next Generation fund (through Shropshire and Telford Community Energy). Ecology studies on the preferred wind turbine site will be starting soon.