Skip to main content

15/03/16 11:25

£10 million to support community energy

Local Energy Challenge Fund supports nine innovative projects.

The Scottish Government has awarded over £10 million to support innovative large-scale low carbon local energy projects, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.

Speaking at the annual Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Conference in Stirling, Mr Ewing confirmed that nine projects will receive funding through the Local Energy Challenge Fund. The successful projects include:

  • Two ambitious district heating schemes
  • Using surplus energy in Orkney to reduce fuel household costs
  • Empowering Edinburgh tower block residents to collectively purchase energy and reduce fuel bills
  • Support for a low head hydro power scheme in Galashiels

Launched in August 2014, the Fund aims to demonstrate the value and benefit of local low carbon energy economies that link energy generation to energy use. The Fund achieves this through supporting innovative projects to develop local energy systems and solutions.

Mr Ewing said:

“Community energy represents tremendous potential to empower people to make the most of their local resources.

“By creating a system that focuses on local energy we can help tackle some of our most pressing issues including fuel poverty, increasing costs and security of supply. That is why today, I am delighted to announce the awarding of over £10 million to nine projects stretching from Orkney to Galashiels.

“The successful projects include support for a pilot smart energy control system in Orkney and two heat pump projects in Perth and Glasgow to developing a new fuel source from the agricultural sector in Montrose.

“The Scottish Government has put in place a wide range of support to empower communities to take control of their local energy use and supply. The success of this support is demonstrated by the fact that we have achieved our community and locally owned target of 500MW by 2020, five years early.

“Putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments is central to our distinctive approach to Scotland’s energy future.”

Notes to editors

The Local Energy Challenge Fund is part of the Scottish Government’s CARES programme, managed by Local Energy Scotland. Local Energy Scotland is a consortium led by the Energy Saving Trust and comprising of Changeworks, The Energy Agency, SCARF and The Wise Group, with support from Ricardo-AEA.

Successful project details are:

Lead Organisation
Project Name Project description
Rosemount Farms Montrose Local Energy Project

Funding: £200,000

The Montrose Local Energy Project will develop a new fuel source from the agricultural sector, feeding into local heat demand and potentially also local electricity demand.

The new fuel is to be created through the processing and drying of used animal bedding

Perth & Kinross Council

River Tay Heat Pump District Heating

Funding: £2 million

Aims to demonstrate that it is possible to safely use water heat pumps to capture renewable energy from an ecologically sensitive river such as the Tay without damaging wildlife and create a District Heating Network which will supply heat to buildings adjacent to the Tay including Council buildings and residencies.

Glasgow Housing Association

Large scale air source heat pumps district heating

Funding: £2.5 million

350 homes in multi-storey blocks located at Newlands/Auldburn in Glasgow will benefit from clean energy produced by a large scale air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps have until now been only small or used in single properties.

Fintry Development Trust

Fintry Development Trust Smart Meter

Funding: £900,000

Aims to deliver a low-cost, local renewable energy tariff to alleviate fuel poverty among residents of Fintry in Stirlingshire through the ‘virtual’ linkage of their electricity consumption with supply from a nearby Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.

The Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Development Trust (REWDT)

Heat Smart Orkney

Funding: £1.2 million

This project will pilot a smart control system that will link the renewable energy generation from community owned wind turbines with the heating systems in local residents’ homes. Orkney’s electricity grid is curtailed at times, with turbines having to be switched off. The project will use the excess electricity that can’t feed into the grid and divert this to new electric flow boilers or new stand-alone electric heaters and hot water immersion heaters in domestic properties.

Energise Galashiels Trust

Energise Galashiels Hydro

Funding: £2 million

This project seeks to demonstrate the significant hydro potential of rivers and other waterways typical of the region which to date have not been captured successfully because of their relatively low head height. This project proposes to use an innovative hydro generation technology, the Water Engine, which once proven could be applied to many other waterways.

Community Energy Scotland

Tower Power Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh

Funding: £900,000

The project will establish a community Local Energy Supply Company with the sole aim of getting cheaper energy for the residents of the tower blocks at Dumbiedykes in Edinburgh.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub

Funding: £1.4 million

The project aims to deliver a fully integrated local energy economy through using the high calorific waste value from the Scottish Salmon company.


Algal Solutions for Local Energy Economy

Funding: £550,000

The project aims to use renewable electricity to produce high value products from algae by converting low-value, surplus electricity into a high value/ low volume products from algal bio manufacturing.