Following on from the OpenLV Project with WPD, which has provided us with data on the electricity consumption pattern for the village over the past couple of years, we are embarking on a new forward looking project using that data and recognising the level of interest shown by the village in reducing our impact on the environment. The new project is entitled the ‘Marshfield Community Energy Project’ and its high level aim is :-
“Within the next five years to develop a means whereby locally generated and stored sustainable renewable energy can be used to contain the costs, to homes, businesses, and facilities within the village, of electricity supplied through the national grid – without degrading and with the aim of improving – the reliability of supply.“
Since 2019 our local research work on sizing , costed options , and review of initiatives elsewhere led to our group being awarded a government grant (Regional Community Energy Fund ) of £36,000 to carry out a comprehensive feasibility study using experienced professional consultants. A copy of the report can be found here.
Despite poor weather and the clash with the school’s half term there was a steady stream of visitors to the two day village consultation event on the feasibility report held on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October 2022. There was a general air of positive enthusiasm, and the Q & A sessions were lively and informative. Most visitors left after a chat with members of the EWG team plus Barry Wyatt (Head of Climate Change at South Glos Council – both days) and Linda Irwin (for RCEF and now of the S West ‘Net Zero’ Hub). We were handed over 100 completed questionnaires and an analysis plus comments can be found here.
There were many complimentary comments about the amount and quality of the work done to date – and strong support for continuing to the next phase. In fact 96% were in favour of a community project to increase our self sufficiency in renewable energy and 91% (plus 5% ‘maybe’) in favour of exploring a combined community benefit solar and wind scheme working with South Glos Council. In addition, it was very gratifying that some 40 individuals said they may wish to help with the project at some point and 13 volunteered to get involved straight away.
For the benefit of members of our community who were unable to attend the event in person, a copy of the summary boards used in the exhibition is available here, and a copy of the introduction to the Q & A sessions is here.