On Monday 27th January, Calderdale Council Cabinet will decide on a proposal to invest £10K of Calderdale Council money in obtaining the legal and financial advice needed to set up an Industrial and Provident Society (aka a Community Benefit Society) that will develop community renewable energy projects across Calderdale.
The Cabinet will also hear a suggestion that the Economic Taskforce consider the case for further investment of Calderdale Council money in feasibility studies for specific community renewable energy projects in the Borough.
The Cabinet meeting starts at 6pm in Halifax Town Hall and is open to the public.
It will consider a Report from the Director, Economy and Environment about Calderdale Community Energy – the proposed Community Benefit Society. This would be an independent legal entity, separate from the council. Its registered office could be at Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre.
However, Calderdale MBC would have influence in the organisation through Board membership, and partial ownership as a shareholder.
The proposal has been developed by Calderdale Council’s Carbon Partnerships Officer, Emma Appleton, working with Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre and Pennine Community Power.
Calderdale Community Energy would:
- advise on all aspects of energy – from energy conservation to generation of renewable energy
- manage a community fund which re-invests in energy schemes within the Borough of Calderdale
- develop and manage community renewable energy sites across Calderdale
- provide energy services to Calderdale communities and businesses
Calderdale Community Energy would particularly support not-for-profit organisations in accessing Government incentives for installing renewable heat and renewable energy generators, such as solar pv, wind turbines and micro-hydro schemes.
In addition to the £10K to cover initial legal and financial advice to set up the Community Benefit Society, Calderdale Community Energy would need a further £50K to carry out feasibility work on developing specific renewable energy projects and taking them to a more advanced design stage. External grants of up to £20,000 have been identified and the Report suggests that the Economic Taskforce consider the case for further investment of Council money in feasibility work.
But at this stage, no bid is being made to the Economic Taskforce for further feasibility work.
The Report to Cabinet says,
“Promising initial progress has been made on feasibility for wind turbines, hydro power schemes, photovoltaic installation and fuel extraction from Calderdale woodlands.”
“There are potential renewable energy development sites on Council owned land. A full feasibility study has been delivered for hydro-electric plant at Cromwell Bottom and a first stage feasibility study has identified potential for wind energy on Council land. Calderdale Council can support Calderdale Community Energy by providing agreements for these opportunities to be developed as community owned projects.”
Update 27 Jan – Correction and clarification
The article has been updated to clarify that, at this time, no bid is being made to the Economic Taskforce for investment in further feasibility work on renewable energy projects
The full Report to Cabinet is here: