The LEP is supporting rural communities to develop renewable energy projects.

As part of our continued commitment to clean growth, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP is helping to deliver the latest Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) programme which supports rural communities to develop renewable energy projects.

The £10 million programme will allow communities to efficiently power buildings with clean electricity, thereby benefitting from reduced bills, reduced emissions and increased capital by selling energy back to the grid.  

So far the programme has helped over 150 rural communities to become cleaner and more sustainable, helping generate approximately 105,000kW of electricity which is enough to power nearly 30,000 homes. It has also helped to boost jobs in green technology.

The scheme has already benefited the town of Frome in Somerset which installed over 200kW of solar capacity – enough to power 2,000 light bulbs and stop 333 tons of CO2 being pumped into the local environment. It also generated almost £70,000 for the local community by selling extra solar electricity back to the grid.

Organisations including sports clubs, schools and churches can now apply to fund green initiatives such as solar battery storage and wind, hydro and geothermal heat projects. Project applications are considered in two stages:

  • Stage one: grants of up to £40,000 for a feasibility study for a renewable energy project
  • Stage two: grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning of feasible schemes

Stage one grants help to assess the feasibility of work and are intended to secure the provision of professional services including:

  • Technical or planning consultancy fees
  • Project management costs
  • Community engagement activities

Stage two grants can be used to support the planning application process and develop a robust business case to attract further investment.

To find out if your business is eligible visit the RCEF website and complete the pre-application questionnaire or contact the Greater Lincolnshire LEP for further information.