THE FACTS AND FIGURES
Who: Transition Homes Community Land Trust (THCLT)
Where: Clay Lane, Dartington
Why we love it: Providing low cost energy to people in a unique housing development built to meet local housing need
What: 720 roof-mounted solar PV panels – 180 kWh total
Average annual generation: 180,000 kWh of electricity per year
CO2 equivalent per year*: Reduces CO2 emissions by about 45 tonnes per year
Status: 2nd grant from Rural Community Energy Fund received to take project to point of raising share capital
TRESOC have been invited by Transition Homes Community Land Trust to own, install and operate 180kW of solar PV on their Clay Park Eco-Housing Development. TRESOC will become the energy supplier for the mini-grid providing the site with 100% green electricity. In 2019 we received a grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund for £88,000 to enable us to do the development work to bring the project forward. The development work determined that the economic case for TRESOC’s involvement was sound, and enabled us to design a system that maximises the use of the onsite solar, using batteries and electric car charge points. We also proposed a monitoring system to show TRESOC when the solar electricity is being used versus the mains electricity. We undertook an extensive community engagement programme throughout the summer of 2020 – some of it online due to the Covid 19 pandemic – and provided educational projects for Totnes Schools KEVIC and the Grove.
In 2021 we received a Stage 2 Development Grant from RCEF for £79,000. This will pay for the technical, legal, financial and community engagement work needed to take the project to the point of being finance ready. Jon Rattenbury, Programme Manager for the SW Energy Hub, said: “Innovative projects such as this prove how much community initiatives can achieve in the energy space and the vital role projects like these play in the transition to net zero.”
The grant will help us demonstrate an economically viable community business model for providing solar PV on housing estates that can be shared with other community energy groups, and the energy sector more widely. Part of the grant is specifically for knowledge sharing and dissemination, and TRESOC have waived any intellectual property rights. TRESOC are a member of the Devon Community Energy Network and has encouraged the establishment of a microgrids working group to facilitate this knowledge sharing. There are several local community energy groups exploring microgrids, who will be able to share the Clay Park legal and technical templates, greatly reducing their own development costs.
Once the scheme is investment ready, TRESOC will release a community share-offer to finance it. Please sign up to the Friends of TRESOC mailing list for updates, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.