CEE newsletter 11th November 2016


In this month's newsletter, BEIS and Ofgem have just released their Smart systems call for evidence. 

We have news from our members including an update about the progress being made on the largest community-owned solar project in the UK. 

We welcome two new members, one of which is from overseas.

As ever we list forthcoming member and other key events that are taking place across the country. 

All the best

Jon Hall

Communications Officer

Community Energy England

Smarter Systems Call for Evidence published

Yesterday BEIS and Ofgem released their long awaited joint call for evidence for a smart, flexible energy system. The call explores a number of key policy and regulatory issues including removing barriers to aggregators and storage, providing price signals for flexibility (including smart tariffs and distribution network tariffs) and a system for the consumer (including smart appliances, consumer engagement with DSR and ultra-low emission vehicles). The consultation closes on 12th January. We urge as many members as possible to submit a response emphasising the role that community energy has to play. CEE will circulate further details about the call and will make our draft submission public to members for input.

State of the Sector 2016

You will hopefully be aware by now that we are planning to conduct a state of the sector survey. We can now confirm that the survey will be circulated in January. The more data we have, the stronger our lobbying position when representing our members. Going forwards, we will be doing this survey at the same time every year, and we hope we can rely on your support in completing the survey, as well as sharing the survey with any community energy groups who we might not be in contact with. 

We will be sending a small number of organisations who have expertise in the sector a tender brief for this piece of work. If we haven't already approached you but would be interested in tendering, please email

Member news

Largest Community Energy Solar Project in the UK Acquired
Leapfrog Finance has announced it is funding of the acquisition by Communities for Renewables CIC (CfR) of a combined 9.3MW solar project constructed by Gamma Energy. The site, commissioned in June this year, is located between Weston-super-Mare and Burnham on Sea. CfR will run the solar farm as a community project for the benefit of the local community and over the next 6 months will be looking to involve local organisations in the project and launch a community investment offer. See here for more details. 

Southhill Solar Farm Build
Southill Solar is now under construction. They anticipate it will be commissioned and generating electricity by mid-November. All the trenching, cabling and framing has been completed, and the inverters are all in place and connected, as are 90% of the panels which take up less than 50% of the solar farm site. Their community solar farm will generate 4.56MW of carbon-free solar energy to meet the needs of their community.

10:10 Blown Away Campaign
There is still time to sign 10:10's petition demanding that dirty fossil fuel electricity is not given more public money than clean onshore wind power.

Abundance ISA
Abundance has just launched an Innovative Finance ISA which will see your money help to fund a range of renewable energy projects, all while delivering healthy, long-term returns. It can set up alongside your Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs every year and you will get tax free returns from your investment. 

2016 Solar Power Portal Awards
In October, some of our members won at the 2016 Solar Power Portal Awards. 
Clean Energy Financial Innovation winner - Mongoose Energy
Commercial Renewable Heat Project winner - Green Fox Community Energy
Community Benefit Project winner - Bristol Energy Cooperative
Congratulations to the winners and all who were nominated. 


Welcome to our two newest members:
  • Allandale Community Association from Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Obafemi Awolowo University from Nigeria, our first international member. 


Member events

New Models for Community Energy

Regen SW events to help you embrace innovative models like local supply, adapt to policy changes, and connect to the grid.
15 November - Cardiff  City Hall, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3ND
17 November - Exeter Curzon House, Southernhay W, Exeter EX1 1RS​, being run in partnership with CEE

For more info see here.

BEIS seminar on role of local approaches to smart power @Renewable Futures: pathways to decentralised, flexible energy
Tuesday 29 November 2016,
Assembly Rooms, Bath

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem and Regen SW will be holding a consultation session as part of the BEIS/Ofgem call for evidence on Smart Power focusing on the role of local and community approaches at the Renewable Futures conference, exhibition and awards on 29 November in Bath.
Renewable Futures is focused on the shift to a decentralised, smart energy system with flexible energy generation, use and supply and has a line-up of industry leaders and policy makers including: a CEO forum on navigating the changing energy system; a session on the impact of flexibility on the network and a session on storage.
The BEIS seminar will examine whether local approaches to a smart and flexible energy system can unlock value by:
  • balancing supply and demand at a local level
  • community-led approaches to demand side response
  • using local or community organisations as trusted intermediaries to increase the uptake of smart energy solutions.   
This session will hear from Beth Chaudhary, head of smart policy at BEIS and Rachel Hay, senior policy manager at Ofgem, on the call for evidence before opening up for discussion and input from delegates.
View the full agenda here and book here
Conference Ticket from £145 + VAT, Conference and Awards Ticket from £250 + VAT. 
Special community energy group ticket price £25 + VAT please sign up online using discount code ‘CommunityDiscount’. 

Open data: the unlikely hero of the energy revolution?
Tuesday 29 November 2016
10am-12.30pm, followed by buffet lunch
Cundall, 1 Carter Lane, London EC4V 5ER

Join Bioregional, Oxford Brookes University, Cherwell District Council and Future Cities Catapult to hear about new methods of mapping local energy data that could help empower communities and ignite the energy revolution.

Book your complimentary ticket here.

Other events

UK Power Networks Community Energy Event – East of England

Wednesday 30th November
Anglia Ruskin University's East Road Campus, Cambridge

The event will hear from both new and established community energy groups, discussing future opportunities and the benefits of establishing a Community Energy East Hub to share best practice and information.

Registration, tea and coffee is from 9:00am, the event commences at 10:00am and concludes at 12:30 with lunch following. During lunch you'll be joined by delegates attending an afternoon event entitled 'Low Energy Futures' to which some of you may be invited separately by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise which is co-ordinating it.

Register your interest by emailing

Further events can be found on the Community Energy Hub

Other News

The Community Business Market in 2016
Power to Change released an interesting report examining how the community business market has grown in 2016.

Power 2.0: Building a smarter, greener, cheaper electricity system
Policy Exchange’s new report sets out the economic and environmental case for creating a smarter power grid. They estimate associated savings of up to £80billion by 2030, the equivalent of up to £90 per household.

Fuel poverty stories
If you or your organisation has any experience helping those in fuel poverty, we would be very interested to hear from you as we plan a campaign to highlight the issue over these cold winter months. Email

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