Levels and Moors Energy
Support for Somerset communities starting up renewable energy projects
The Levels and Moors Energy project helped community groups that were looking install either renewable energy technologies or energy efficiency improvements. There are a number of active groups across the Levels and Moors area of Somerset, and a key aspect of the project was to be able to offer specialist and technical knowledge to help these groups achieve something within their area.
All groups that expressed an interest were provided one to one support throughout the project so that they could maximise the resources available to them here at CSE. Renewable technology proposal were strong amongst the groups, mostly covering the feasibility for technologies such as solar PV, solar thermal and even one idea an anaerobic digester.
Examples of the support that CSE was able to provide include:
- Energy audits of community buildings
- Presentations at community events
- Advice on funding and legal structures
- Training and workshops
- Technical advice on renewable technologies
In total 13 groups across the area received support during the 2 ½ years of the project, with the rooftop solar PV installation at Cossington village hall being a notable success. Another group supported under Levels and Moors Energy, Wedmore Green Group, is now developing an ambitious community-funded 1MW solar PV scheme (see www.wedmorecpc.co.uk).
Other supported groups include
- Sustainable Axbridge Network
- Transition Athelney
- Cheddar Action Network for a Greener Environment
- Transition Langport
- Sustainable Somerton
Community groups from across Somerset and the rest of the country can still get advice from our CSE Communities team on a number of areas such as technical and funding help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cossington village hall
Success! One of the groups we've worked with in the Levels and Moors project is Cossington village hall, near Bridgwater, which installed solar PV this week. The hall, a registered charity, is new and quite energy efficient, and PV made a lot of sense given the electricity consumption profile of the building.
Pictures: (above) the panels being installed; (below) Ian Morrison and Simone Dury, trustees of Cossington village hall, and CSE's Heather Crane outside the building after the installation went live in August 2012.
Like many of the groups we're working with, Cossington village hall has had to work hard to overcome various setbacks (not least the changes to feed-in tariff payments, but also a limited capacity in terms of time, access to capital and power to make decisions) so congratulations to all concerned for getting the solar panels up and running.
You can read more about the 'new Cossington village hall FiT for solar panels' here.
For an event at Axbridge Town Hall we produced a fun flier about making your own draught-excluder 'snake'. Have a look here.
"Levels and Moors?"
The 'Levels and Moors' area of Somerset has a population of around 120,000 and runs from Burnham-on-Sea in the north, to Martock in the south, and from North Petherton in the west to Glastonbury in the east. Fans of land-use and geography my be interested to know that it's considered one of the world's best examples of a man-made low-lying wetland.