The Let’s Do Net Zero: Off Electricity Grid Communities Fund aims to decarbonise and future-proof the existing local independent electrical grids of those communities that are not connected to the national electricity grid.
The support available from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) will help these communities to work towards becoming net zero communities. With more resilient infrastructure these local grids will be able to provide reliable power and be on a path to supporting the decarbonisation of heat, a key priority for the Scottish Government. For more information, view the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Policy Statement and its Heat in Buildings Strategy.
CARES can provide development funding during this financial year (2021-2022) and next financial year (2022-2023) to help develop your project and move it towards implementation with CARES capital funding available through to March 2023. Where required, and subject to budget approval, infrastructure projects extending through to March 2024 can be considered.
A wide variety of community organisational structures are eligible. Applicants must be constituted non-profit distributing community organisations, including organisations with charitable status, that are established and operating across a geographically defined community (‘local community organisations’).
Some common community organisation structures include:
- Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO)
- Private Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG)
- Community Benefit Societies (BenCom)
- Community Interest Companies (CIC).
There must be a minimum of three unrelated persons on the organisation’s management committee or Board that are local to the region served by the community building.
Community organisations will be incorporated, but unincorporated organisations can be considered.
The community organizations’ areas of benefit should be in Scotland.
The organisation should operate existing local independent grid electricity systems (independent local grid – an electricity network, separate from the National Grid (National Grid being the main electricity transmission and distribution network serving the UK). These may be located on the Scottish mainland or island communities, for example: Canna, Eigg, Rum, Muck, Fair Isle, Foula and Knoydart.
How To Apply?
Complete an Expression of Interest form and email it to Local Energy Scotland. We’ll put you in touch with a member of our team who will discuss your proposal and agree on the next steps and the application process.
Please indicate in the Expression of Interest if you have had previous support through other agencies eg Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). We’d be keen to join up and invite other agencies or their advisors to project initiation calls.
After your Expression of Interest is assessed and discussed with you, you will be asked to complete an application form. This will be assessed by an independent CARES panel.
Supporting heat decarbonisation in buildings: As part of the full application you will be required to set out how any projects will support the future decarbonisation of heat in buildings, as well as informing the development of a local authority’s LHEES (Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy). For further information on LHEES, please refer to chapter 4 in the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy.
There is no specific deadline for full applications for this funding call. However, to provide an indication of likely budget requirements please complete and submit the expression of interest between 20 December 2021 and 31 January 2022.
If you have any further questions about the fund or about how to apply, please contact your local development officer.
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