SSE believes that community energy has an increasingly important role in the UK's future energy system alongside large energy projects. Community level energy brings a deep connection between consumption - an important aspect when seeking to increase awareness of climate change mitigation. SSE is committed to supporting communities in their aspirations in the most appropriate way and there are three routes SSE is currently pursuing:
- In Bath a financial model was created to provide a £1million commercial loan over 15 years to help them invest in solar projects. Following its success, and with limited lending facilities from banks, we’re now looking for similar communities to work with again.
- Secondly, SSE has developed a community co-investment scheme with a pilot being developed with Melness & Tongue Community Development Trust where they are seeking to co-invest in SSE's proposed Strathy South wind farm development in North Sutherland.
- Finally, through the community benefit funds generated by SSE's own on-shore wind farms, financial support for community energy projects is a core theme for SSE's new 'Sustainable Development Fund', this should lead to dozens of additional community projects being supported in the regions that host SSE's wind farms.
We have also made this supportive response to a recent Call for Evidence from the Department for Energy and Climate Change on the further development of Community Energy across the UK.