Mandeville School, Ealing. Recipients of the 2017/18 London Community Energy Fund.

London Community Energy Fund

Applications for the second round of the Mayor’s London Community Energy Fund are now closed. 

The Mayor wants to see more communities involved in producing energy locally and helping to reduce energy use. To help get community projects off the ground, he created the London Community Energy Fund in 2017.

2017/18 Funding

The first phase of the London Community Energy Fund supported the development of community solar energy projects (solar photovoltaics and solar thermal). The Mayor’s Solar Action Plan outlines his approach to putting London on track to achieving 2 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity by 2050. Community projects make an important contribution to the Mayor’s aims to supply the capital with more local clean energy and his target to make London a zero carbon city by 2050. Details of projects supported in the 2017/18 round of funding are shown below.

2018/19 Funding

The second round of funding again offered grants of up to £15,000. This can be used to support the development stages of a wide range of community energy projects, including both clean generation and energy demand reduction. Funding could be used, for example, to carry out preliminary viability studies or develop a financial business case. We want to fund work required to get a community energy project ‘investor ready’, that means ready to be financed. 

Solar PV projects
The national Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is due to close to new applicants from April 2019 and so we encouraged groups considering solar PV projects to apply as soon as possible. Funding was allocated on a first-come first-served basis for solar projects aiming to utilise the national (FiT) before it is closed to new registrants. Details of projects supported are shown below.

2017/18 Funded Projects

13 projects were initially awarded funding in the first phase of the London Community Energy Fund across eight boroughs. The 11 projects below progressed through early viability assessments and include developing solar projects on schools, community centres, churches, sports centres and other buildings used by local communities. The grant amount offered to these projects in total is around £130,000. Community energy groups are installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for feasible projects by the end of 2018.

Calthorpe Energy Lab
The Calthorpe Project in Camden has been awarded £9,775 to undertake wider community engagement and develop a financially viable solar project on their community centre located in Kings Cross. Funding from the Mayor will enable the Calthorpe Project to complete a feasibility study and design for solar panel installation and also draft a share offer.

Caversham Group Practice
Power Up North London (PUNL) has been awarded £12,940 to develop a project to install about 29kWp of solar panels on the roof of the Caversham Group Practice (CGP), an established teaching and training practice in Camden with 15,000 registered patients. PUNL anticipates that the panels will save 20% - 25% on the practice’s electricity bills. The project will also look at the possibility of battery storage technology to enable use of extra energy captured during the day outside daytime hours.

Ealing Schools
Ealing Transition, in partnership with Schools Energy Coop, has been awarded £15,000 to look at the feasibility of installing solar panels on five schools in the Borough of Ealing, hoping to achieve up to 140kWp of solar capacity. One of the aim is not only to provide cheaper electricity for the schools but also inspire a generation by reaching to approximately 6,000 pupils and staff directly, as well as their extended families.

Energy Local Brixton
The charity 10:10 has been awarded £14,878 to fund technical and financial modelling of the impact of battery storage, and an assessment of capacity and feasibility for solar panels on 10 housing blocks in Lambeth. This project is predominantly looking to maximise the use of existing solar installations. It aims to demonstrate a model for matching the electricity generated by the solar installation with the electricity usage of participating residents, who would be able to receive a special tariff as a result.

Heathview Tenant’s Cooperative Solar Power Project
Heathview Tenant’s Cooperative has been awarded £12,670 to undertake feasibility assessments of the roofs of their housing buildings to establish if they could install up to 50kWp of solar panels. It is expected that the solar project will provide power for the communal areas in these social housing buildings. It is also expected that it will be able to provide power in the future for tenants that wish to sign up to the project.

Kentish Town City Farm
Power Up North London has been awarded £9,700 to establish if the roof of a stable block could support solar panels at the Kentish Town City Farm, a community charity that helps city people connect with animals, nature and the environment. This roof is not shaded and is highly visible from the courtyard making it a good location to promote renewable energy technologies to visitors of the farm. The grant will fund development work from the technical feasibility assessment of the roof for a solar panel installation of about 11kWp, to the production of a community share offer.

LUX
Power Up North London has been awarded £11,500 to undertake a feasibility study for the installation of about 34kWp of solar panels on LUX, an international arts agency based within Waterlow Park, Camden. This study will also investigate the possibility of installing battery storage that could enable charging electric vehicles overnight to help tackle pollution and clean up the air in the park. This project should result in financial savings for LUX that will be reinvested in community events and other energy efficiency initiatives. 

New River Sports Centre
En10ergy has been awarded £4,500 to develop a business case to install about 50kWp of solar panels on the roof on the spectator stand of the New River Sports Centre in Haringey. The sports centre would use all of the electricity generated by the solar panels and the project would strive to offer cheaper electricity to the sports centre. The panels would be community-owned through a community share offer and help raise awareness of renewable energy with users of the sports centre.

RBKC Community Energy
Repowering London has been awarded £14,933 to develop community solar projects which would help the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea meet its target to reduce
carbon emissions by 40 per cent from its own operations by 2020. This project will look at the feasibility of installing solar panels on sites such as schools, community buildings, a hospital and a leisure centre in the north of the Borough where there are one of the highest levels of fuel poverty in London and the UK. Altogether it is anticipated that these sites could produce up to 500kWp of solar power.

SELCE Greenwich
South East London Community Energy has been awarded £14,999 to produce business cases for the installation of solar panels on two leisure centres in Greenwich, the Thamesmere and the Coldharbour leisure centres. Both provide a range of valuable services to the local community, including pools, football pitches and gyms. These services require a large electrical load and large buildings and this project will look at installing at total of 70kWp on these buildings. Any financial surplus from the operation of the solar panels would be channelled into fuel poverty alleviation work.

Walworth Methodist Church Solar Project
Sustainable Energy 24 (SE24) has been awarded £11,425 to develop a project looking at installing about 50kWp of solar panels on Walworth Methodist Church in Southwark, a large, multi-building facility at the heart of a very diverse, local community. The group anticipates that once delivered the solar installation would create income for the SE24’s community benefit fund over the lifetime of the project.  This community benefit fund will be used to tackle fuel poverty and increase awareness of climate change in the local area.  

2018/19 Funded Projects

18 community energy projects have been awarded a total of £182,000 in this second phase of the London Community Energy Fund, covering projects across 13 different London boroughs. The successful proposals include developing solar projects in time to still benefit from the Feed-in tariff (due to end in April 2019), installing electric vehicle charging points, adding battery storage to solar PV panels or even developing a community off-grid hybrid renewable system. 

Projects awarded funding:

Aluna
The charity The Aluna Foundation, partnering with South East London Community Energy (SELCE), has been awarded £14,607. This project will put up around 400 solar panels on the InterContinental Hotel and Ballroom roof, near the O2 in North Greenwich. The panels will provide renewable, low cost power to Aluna, a major zero carbon public landmark and waterfront space for London, which is in development at Point Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula Waterfront at 0° longitude, directly adjacent to the hotel. The project anticipates selling any surplus energy to the hotel, helping to reduce its carbon emissions.

BBBC Community Solar
Bromley-by-Bow Centre, in Tower Hamlets, has been awarded £11,950 towards a project to install solar panels on their community centre. They aim to install around 56 solar panels. The renewable system will be used to raise awareness of clean energy to their community and any profit form the FiT would go into a community fund that can be used to support existing fuel poverty advice services.

City of London Community Energy
City of London Community Energy has been awarded £12,450 to develop a project aiming to install around 200 solar panels on the Middlesex Street Estate (City of London), which includes flats, a library and a community centre. The project will be supported by Repowering London and also funded through a community share offer. 

Devas
Community Renewable Energy Wandsworth (CREW) has been awarded £12,500 to upgrade the LED lighting and Building Management System at the Devas Youth Club in Wandsworth. This will reduce carbon emissions by 35 per cent at the centre. It will also make long-term savings on energy bills, enabling income to be spent on service delivery to young people or other essential building upgrades. Funding will come from a community share offer.

Ealing Schools, Second Wave
Following their successful project under Phase 1, Ealing Transition, in partnership with the School’s Energy Cooperative, has been awarded £15,000 to look at the feasibility of installing solar panels on a further five to six schools in Ealing. They hope to install approximately 480 solar panels. One of the aims is not only to provide cheaper electricity for the schools but also to inspire pupils, families and staff to become renewable energy champions.

Ealing and Harrow Schools
A second Ealing Transition/School’s Energy Cooperative project, has been awarded £15,000 to carry out structural surveys and feasibility studies to install solar panels on more schools in Ealing, as well as to lay the foundation for up to 12 schools in the neighbouring borough of Harrow. The project hopes to install around 400-480 solar panels.

Edward Woods Community Centre
London Sustainable Exchange (LSx) has been awarded £6,130 to install solar panels on the Edward Woods Community Centre in Hammersmith & Fulham. The owners of the community centre hope the electricity savings and income from the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) will be able to fund additional projects at the community centre, such as increasing the capacity of the Community Kitchen. They hope to install around 85 solar panels, which should generate just under 20,000 kWh per year.

Elizabeth House Community Centre
Highbury Vale Blackstock Trust has been awarded £2,666 to finish development and feasibility work towards the installation of solar panels on Elizabeth House community centre, Islington. They hope to install around 45 solar panels.

Fortismere School
En10ergy has been awarded £4,350 to explore installing solar panels on the roof of Fortismere School’s science block in Haringey. The school will use 100 per cent of the electricity generated. They hope to install around 120 solar panels.

Greener Homes
South East London Community Energy (SELCE) has been awarded £14,901 to develop a model towards energy efficiency improvement and behavioural change for the-able-to-pay domestic market. Homeowners can choose to have a thorough survey of their property which will highlight where energy efficiency work could save them money and help them switch to green energy providers. They aim to reach 400 people.

Holly Lodge EV
Holly Lodge Estate Committee has been awarded £1,882 to develop a project and get planning permission to install electric vehicle charging stations on the Holly Lodge Estate in Camden.

Housing Coop
South East London Community Energy (SELCE) has also been awarded £14,837 to develop a business model for solar panels on housing cooperatives. Housing blocks comprise a significant portion of roofs in London but have historically lacked the self-consumption to make a solar PV system financially viable. SELCE will develop a model to make such installation financially viable and benefit housing cooperatives. The capital will be raised through a community share offer.

Lambeth Community Energy
Repowering has been awarded £15,000 to look at installing solar panels on four buildings owned by Lambeth Council and one academy school. In order to get the FiT before it ends, Repowering would seek funding from a bridging loan and then a community share offer. They hope to install around 800 solar panels.

Masbro Centre
London Sustainable Exchange (LSx) has been awarded a second grant of £6,130 to install solar panels on the Masbro Centre in Hammersmith & Fulham. The electricity savings and income from the FiT will help fund additional projects at the community centre. They hope to install around 68 solar panels, which would generate about 15,000 kWh per year.

Newbery House
Newbery House Cooperative has been awarded £9,740 to maximise benefits of solar panels which are about to be installed on this housing coop building in Islington. This project will look at the feasibility of supplementing the solar installation with electrical storage, on-site electric vehicle charging points, upgrading lighting to LED and guidance for residents on external wall insulation.

NKCE phase 2 – Westway
Building on the first phase of the North Kensington Community Energy (NKCE) project, which was funded through LCEF phase 1, Repowering has been awarded £7,370 to develop phase 2. Repowering will explore feasibility for solar on the Westway Leisure Centre in North Kensington. They anticipate being able to install as many as 800 solar panels (200kWp). Capital cost will be raised through a community share offer.

R-URBAN Poplar
Public Works has been awarded £8,686 towards the development of a small off-grid, hybrid renewable energy system. The system could combine micro anaerobic digestion (AD), solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind technology. The micro-AD plant will generate power from waste collected (by bicycle) from 35 local households.

St Luke’s Church of England
South East London Community Energy (SELCE) has been awarded £8,772 to investigate installing up to 140 solar panels on St Luke’s Church of England, Downham. The church is an important community space hosting pensioners groups, mothers’ mornings and dance groups. It has high electricity consumption and the church wants to reduce its carbon footprint. SELCE will aim to finance the project through a community share offer. 

Resources and support

Community energy groups starting new projects can receive support from Community Energy London. They can help with planning and advice as well as providing networking opportunities for groups to share their experiences. Groups should also visit the UK Power Networks website for helpful resources on community energy and how to connect to the grid.