Calderdale Council backs plan for energy company which could see wind …

January 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Wind turbines could be built on council land after councillors backed a plan to form an energy company.

Calderdale Council members backed the formation of the company and its involvement in a community energy co-operative.

Ideas so far include a hydroelectric plant at Cromwell Bottom, between Brighouse and Elland, plus there’s potential for wind energy on council land.

Cabinet members backed the use of £10,000 towards setting up Calderdale Community Energy.

The council will have influence in the organisation and partial ownership alongside local community groups, businesses and residents as share investors.

Clr Barry Collins, cabinet member for the environment, said it would go some way to reducing fuel poverty, adding: “Why do we need to rely on the big six energy firms when we have people in our community ready and willing to find ways of generating it?

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“People have ideas about water or wind energy which really can benefit people here in Calderdale.

“Often they don’t know where to access the finance or have the legal skills to get it up and running.”

A council spokesperson said: “The agenda can specifically address concerns for residents and businesses such as energy security, providing an alternative to the big six providers, reducing carbon emissions, enabling local investment in energy and providing a local energy fund.”

The council is not the first organisation in the borough to harness energy investment – the Pennine Community Power Ltd have installed a 10kw wind turbine, which will generate a return to its 65 community investors.

It is projected to generate over £100,000 which is to be put towards other renewable projects.

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Nor is Calderdale the first council to introduce such a scheme – Plymouth City Council has joined forces with organisations to tackle the dominance of the big six energy companies, while Preston City Council is investigating an in-house scheme.

Calderdale aims to reap some of the renewable energy rewards as part of a cooperative.

The social enterprise partnership will be run by board members and it will aim to distribute the returns on investment in renewable energy schemes to fund more energy efficiency projects.

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