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New National Fund Launched For Community Renewable Energy Generation
The FSE Group (FSE) and lead partner National Energy Foundation (NEF) are delighted to announce that the Community Generation Fund is now open for applications.
The Fund addresses critical barriers to community-led project development by providing support at both pre-planning development and post-planning construction stages, to community energy generation projects that can achieve technical & financial viability, community inclusion and social impact.
The Fund will bring creation and ownership of renewable energy generation within the reach of those communities seeking to create clean energy, social engagement and a long term income source for the good of their community.
- Finance for up to 75% of pre-planning development costs, via open-ended bridging loans which will be repayable only if planning consent is achieved successfully (“Development Loans”)
- Finance for up to 75% of post-planning construction costs, via term loans with flexible repayment arrangements (“Construction Loans”)
- Projects sizes considered from 25kWp upwards, with majority expected to be in 50kWp-1MW range. All Feed-in-Tariff and Renewable-Heat-Incentive compatible technologies will be considered.
- UK-wide initiative. Funding will be directed towards communities falling within the top 50% of deprived locations, as measured by latest Indices of Deprivation. The Fund is particularly keen to identify and support applications from top 20% deprived wards.
- Strategy and fund application support will be available from NEF for certain selected communities.
An initial £1.25million has been made available for this initiative via the valued support of initial Fund investors, Big Society Investment Fund and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Further investment is expected to follow.
Gabby Mallett, Head of Communities at National Energy Foundation commented : “The National Energy Foundation is delighted to be working with FSE in developing the Community Generation Fund. Communities around the UK who want to progress their own renewable energy projects have long found that finance has proved to be a serious stumbling block. This fund will now be in a position to loan up to 75% of eligible costs for both pre-planning studies and construction”.
FSE and NEF will be undertaking Pre-Application workshops during March to give as many communities as possible the opportunity and ability to consider bidding for support.
Details are available from The FSE Group website :