Community Energy grant for 361 Energy CIC to investigate solar PV projects in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple.

There is growing interest in community owned energy generation in the UK.  Smaller locally owned installations are more popular with the public than large energy schemes owned by multi-national utilities.  361 Energy CIC have recently been awarded a Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) grant to investigate the opportunities locally.  This grant will fund feasibility studies looking at suitable sites for solar PV canopies on car parks and rooftop solar PV in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple.  The study will be in partnership with RegenSW, who will collaborate on the initial feasibility work, and Communities for Renewables CIC, who will prepare the business plan for the projects.

We are looking for sites with suitable space for a solar PV array and a significant electricity demand.

The aim is to fund the installation of the solar PV systems by community share issue.  The main advantages of community ownership are that the revenue from the installation stays locally with local investors, while the site owner benefits from cheaper electricity.  Excess profits from the projects also go towards a community benefit fund which will support projects in the local area.

If you have a suitable site or know of one, please contact us at

Our partners in the project are:

RegenSW, The Innovation Centre, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RN

Communities for Renewables CIC, Tremough Innovation Centre, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9TA

Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)

RCEF is a £15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).  It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

For more information on RCEF, visit