Community and Renewable Energy Scheme open

Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is open for applications.

Speaking at the annual CARES Conference on 18 April Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced:

“CARES is open for business, with up to £5 million available.”

This Scottish Government scheme has helped over 200 renewable energy initiatives get up and running and since 2013 has made £35 million available to support councils, community groups, non-profit organisations and small and medium sized businesses to deliver projects in their communities.

Mr Wheelhouse added:

“CARES has been a real tremendous success story, and I want to ensure that it continues. The move towards a more localised energy approach requires a more flexible funding package to better reflect the future needs of communities developing projects in this evolving space. I am delighted to confirm we have made some positive changes to CARES funding to ensure it is aligned with our vision for Scotland’s energy system and can support the likely diverse range of projects coming forward.”

Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manger, said:

“The current funding streams enable us to replicate the success of existing local energy projects as well as support new innovations that are emerging. We can now use clean electricity in our cars as well as our appliances, and there are different renewable options for heating our homes. As we look forward we expect to see more community projects adopting smart systems that balance how energy is locally generated and consumed.”

There will be quarterly funding rounds with fixed timescales in which to apply with the first window opening on 18 April. The funding streams are designed to respond to the emergence of new innovative projects:
1. Enablement grants of up to £25k to help with feasibility studies for energy systems or renewable energy projects, investigation of shared ownership opportunities or work to maximise the benefit for local communities
2. Development loans of up to £150k to fund development costs taking projects from feasibility through to procurement for a design and build contract.
3. An innovation fund of up to £150k to accelerate innovative activity, from building a business case and developing a project outline to long term development support and addressing high risk capital costs.  

The Local Energy Scotland team will be on hand to help applicants through the process of gaining access to relevant grants and loans. Local Energy Scotland has a network of regional development officers who can offer free impartial advice and support to communities on engaging with renewable energy. The Local Energy Scotland website also offers a range of free resources, including the CARES Toolkit, an online guide which has downloadable documents to support with every step of the development process.

Find out more at www.localenergy.scot; 0808 808 2288


23 April 2018

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