The Energy Project is currently a non-funded, volunteer-run group. Given that fact, the successes it has achieved and reputation it has amongst the Community Energy fraternity in the South West is astonishing.
The core team comprises:
- Tony Kerr
- Karen Wilkinson
- Tim Willmott
In 2011 the Marshfield Energy Project (MEP) was constituted as a working group of the Marshfield Parish Plan.
MEP successfully applied to DECC for a grant under the LEAF scheme. The project was to: “understand how to implement a community scale renewable project which maximises the benefits to the community and seeks to protect vulnerable members from fuel poverty through the redistribution of surplus income”.
The LEAF project was completed in March 2012, and was very successful, meeting all of its objectives. But once it was over, the project understandably lost impetus, and all of the volunteer team were tired out. There was a lull, and then a re-grouping.
For the rest of 2012 and the early part of 2013 a lot of work was done to understand the landscape of Community Energy – the who, what, where and how of what is a large and sprawling area – and importantly, how Community Energy was placed in the context of community life.
This work carried on – and still does – and we now have a strong sense of how the Community Energy scene works. In fact, it could be said that we are in the forefront of the thinking on how Community Energy fits within the complex network of community life.
In April Oliver Duckworth, Chief Executive of Windhager UK, which is based in Marshfield, offered the Energy Project an office. Windhager make and sell biomass boilers, so this relationship is a natural choice for both of us.
This simple act of altruism transformed the Energy Project, and after almost two years of kitchen-table meetings, we had a proper base. From that moment onwards the Project had fresh resolve.
We submitted a bid to the Rural Community Energy Fund which was approved and a new project was started.
This project is a feasibility study for a renewable energy scheme for Marshfield which will update our figures from 2012 on wind and solar power and add in the option of energy from Anaerobic Digestion.