PRIDE is a collaborative project between the WMCA, National Grid Electricity Distribution and Advanced Infrastructure. Its goal is to improve how local planning decisions can influence network investment to accelerate the deployment of low carbon technologies and decarbonise heat and transport.
This project explored how a whole systems digital planning tool could help local authorities develop flexible and lower cost local area energy plans, and a governance structure that would ensure those local area energy plans are embedded into network investment decisions.
In our role, we delivered an in-person workshop and online webinar with the local authorities in the West Midlands Combined Authority region that explored:
·The opportunities and challenges of local area energy planning.
·How the whole systems digital planning tool could help local authorities develop local area energy plans.
·Governance structures that provide a platform for better engagement between local authorities and energy networks.
It was important to us that local and regional needs were being considered throughout the project. We designed the workshops to provide a platform on which local authorities can share their challenges with project partners as well as other local authorities to encourage peer-to-peer learning and support.
This project formed part of the Discovery phase of PRIDE, which finished in June 2023. We have supported the project partners submit the SIF funding bid for the next phase of the PRIDE project, during which we will join the consortium as a project partner and help continue to support the development of the whole systems planning tool and trial the governance structures with local authorities and infrastructure providers in the WMCA region.