The Power Allotments, Devon project was set up by Regen and the Devon Energy Collective to engage and encourage communities and individuals across Devon to identify a 5 acre space in their local area for a biodiverse community-owned renewable power project.

Over the course of 12 months to April 2023, funded by Devon County Council, community-minded people concerned about climate change came together and, using the mapping tools and guidance provided by the Power Allotments project, put forward potential generation projects.

In total, 73 sites were submitted and examined for a variety of factors such as site orientation, road access, network connection and environmental and heritage impacts. Part of this process also involved engaging key stakeholders for information and advice. The outcome was a top list of 15 sites that were visited in person and of these, seven that were selected as high priority development opportunities.

The project concluded that although many local people have both the enthusiasm and the knowledge needed to find suitable power generation sites, there are significant hurdles to overcome before new community owned energy projects at this scale can be built. Current market conditions mean that project installation and finance costs heavily outweigh the expected long-term income from power sales, making the standard business model unviable. Difficulties with network connections also block project development. This is because of a highly constrained network in the region, costly export limitations and long delays and high costs due to planned infrastructure upgrades. More work is required to find an alternative route to market which may require legislative changes to government policy, changes to the way these types of projects are treated by the network operator or innovation around local supply models, virtual power sales or corporate partnerships.

Ultimately, community energy needs more support to help get projects off the ground and into the hands of local people.


Read more about what we learnt in our Final Report found below and here.

Supported by Team Devon’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Business Prospectus Funding.

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