Community Solar Project in the Mulgrave area: it’s time to tell us what you think

As you may know, Moor Sustainable CIC has been working with the local community to see if small scale `solar smallholdings’ would be viable in the Mulgrave ward area. If the right sites can be found, a community solar scheme would provide rental income to site-owners, a return to investors and an annual “community pot” for the benefit of local groups and causes. See below for the details of what is proposed.

At the moment, this is just a feasibility study so nothing has been decided. We would like to hear from as many people as possible in the community to see if they would welcome such a scheme.

Please give us your thoughts by completing our short, online survey: click here

Please also share this information with friends and neighbours. Paper questionnaires will be available to pick up in Lythe Community Shop.

The Community Solar Project so far

Government policy is to create lots of small renewable energy suppliers over the coming years. The Government is encouraging individuals, community groups and companies to generate electricity through solar and wind power with a payment called the `feed-in-tariff’.

The proposal is for up to 5 `solar smallholdings’ around the villages in the Mulgrave area. The installations would be ground mounted, roof mounted on large agricultural buildings, or on brownfield sites.  Each installation would power, on average, nearly 60 houses.  Moor Sustainable has employed a consultant (with funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund) who is looking at potential sites, liaising with Northern Powergrid, and working on the business case.

The funding for the installations would be raised through a community share issue, with investment coming from members of the community and probably some other outside investment.

A number of sites are currently being investigated and these were presented at a meeting in Mickleby Village Hall in November.

 

Community Solar Meeting Mickleby 3

Benefits to the community

The following benefits would be expected:

  • the investment people make by buying shares should pay a reasonable return
  • the owners of the land or buildings where installations are sited will receive rental income
  • a small annual amount would also go to community initiatives in our villages.

In addition,

  • This would be a good opportunity for our area to become more self-sufficient in energy
  • It is a way for our community to work together to do our bit to cut down on CO2 and to combat climate change
  • The project also has the potential to bring investment into our area.

Do you own some land or a suitable building?

It’s not too late to be involved. If you would be interested in renting out a field or large south facing agricultural buildings for an installation, we would still like to hear from you.  The solar panels would take about half an acre if field mounted, and any field should be

  • either flat or slightly south facing
  • not overlooked nor in large open fields so as not to spoil views
  • not shaded by large trees
  • fencing or hedging would be erected around the site

Ideally the site should be close to a building that can be metered to use some of the electricity, but most importantly the site should be quite close to gridlines.   The North York Moors National Park planning authority are supportive of any such scheme in principle but it would depend on the site.

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