Yesterday and it was a big meeting to kick off two new exiting aspect of community energy generation in our part of N West Wales. But we are also hoping we are casting the die for others to use. National Trust Penrhyn Castle was the venue for the first official ‘Cyd Ynni’ (energy together) meeting following the conference a few weeks back. We had the five founding community energy companies there plus support from a panoply of organisations. Menter Mon, Gwynedd LAG, Ynni’r Fro, Robert Owen Community Bank, Renew Wales, Cynefin and the list went on. Think we have an idea which has chimed with a lot of people and organisations. As a group ‘Cyd Ynni’ we have agreed in principle to form a cooperative consortium society. Think this is the first of its kind in terms of community energy from the ground up? (but I may be wrong!) Basically each community energy company will be a director of the new cooperative. Thanks to European Leader funding from the Gwynedd LAG, Menter Mon are currently interviewing the founding members to see what we all need, where do we want to go, whats stopping stuff happening and also what opportunities we have? We will then test this against the model consortium to make sure we have the right structure to deliver on ambition. As a group we all want to create jobs, create capacity, cut costs, add value, raise funding and so on. Ideas such as group insurance, group selling and so on are being looked at
The second part of the meeting then went on to all things ‘Energy Local’ Cyd Ynni as its first project (we don’t hang around!) has been successful in gaining Welsh Gov funding to initiate a feasibility and develop the documentation of what is basically a virtual grid. The basics are a pilot to install a network of smart meters in a community (up to 150) which means we will have good quality half hour data and then ‘virtually’ use our local community hydro generation to supply cheaper energy to the community. Lots and lots of detail here! ENERGY LOCAL The principal is that the power we generate does not leave the valley and the community retain most of the benefit. Exiting stuff! The consortium is also a partner along with Community Energy Scotland, Low Carbon hub, Energy Local and Energise Sussex Coast in an ambitious Postcode lottery bid which is already a finalist for a large award to undertake a full-scale pilot. Cross fingers end of the month. Things don’t stand still in the ‘consortium’ world!