Dorset Community Energy to start innovative pilot project in January

People who live in Salway Ash may have wondered if they could buy the electricity generated by the solar panels on the roof of the village hall, or the nearby wind turbine.

Currently any unused electricity from the wind turbine or solar panels is sold by the owners to the national grid for approximately 5p/kWh, whereby the grid sells it back to customers for around 15p/kWh. 

Dorset Community Energy is excited to have been awarded a £10,000 development grant from the Power to Change Bright Ideas Fund to pilot a new business model which will enable the supply of local renewable electricity to householders through the existing grid at a mid-price benefitting both householder and owners of local renewable energy plant.  We will be working closely with award-winning consultants Energy Local, who will provide training and set up the metering and billing arrangements between those generating renewable energy and local households who wish to purchase the electricity.   Energy Local will set up the contractual arrangements with a licenced electricity supplier (e.g. Octopus Energy) to ensure households have electricity whether or not the solar panels / wind turbine are generating. 

The video illustrates one such scheme  already operating in Bethesda, N. Wales, which supplies electricity from a 100kW hydro generator to local households at approx. 9p/kWh, so both householders and the generator benefit and money is retained in the local economy.

The DCE project will be developed in 2 stages:

1)  Local renewable electricity supply to householders in the Salway Ash area from the existing 50kW wind turbine owned by local farmer Peter Bailey together with export from the 16kW DCE solar PV installation on Salway Ash village hall.

2) Researching the options for Dorset Community Energy to develop, finance and operate a new ground mounted solar array of approximately 200kW (requiring 2000 m2 of land or half an acre) close to Bridport and directly supplying households in Bridport through the same business model as developed in Salway Ash.

DCE are recruiting for a Community Engagement co-ordinator for this role. Read more