SSDC Renewable Energy Projects
Decarbonising our energy
Over the past decade SSDC has been installing renewable energy technologies on its buildings to help generate fossil fuel free energy for its energy use. Several SSDC offices have Photovoltaic Panels (PVs) installed – there are four arrays on the main council offices at Brympton Way, as well as arrays on the Cremetorium, Lufton Depot, Petters House and Wincanton Sports Centre.
In autumn 2020 SSDC applied for and was successful in obtaining a substantial Government grant through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to help with increasing the energy efficiency, installing renewable energy technologies and replacing gas for heating and hot water with air and ground source heat pumps on its highest energy consuming buildings. By March 2021 this project will be completed and is predicted to save SSDC 698.09 tCO2e per annum (52% reduction of current emissions) helping us on our way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
In April 2021 SSDC also switched its electricity tariff to a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) backed renewable electricity supply to also further reduce its fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels (PV)
To be carbon neutral by 2030 or sooner we will need to focus on getting our own house in order by making sure that our buildings are sustainable and energy efficient.
Over the past decade, SSDC has been installing renewable energy technologies on its buildings to help generate fossil fuel free electricity for its own energy use.
Several SSDC offices now have Photovoltaic Panels (PVs) installed – there are four arrays on the main council offices at Brympton Way (Yeovil), as well as arrays on the Cremetorium, Lufton Depot, Petters House and Wincanton Sports Centre.
Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
In 2020, we contracted energy and regeneration company Engie to conduct an energy audit on our highest energy consuming buildings and develop a net zero carbon roadmap for SSDC.
To implement the recommendations we applied to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) for grant funding. We received £3,993,847 to install energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies across our estate, including additional solar panels, air-source heat pumps, insulation, glazing and lighting.
By September 2021 this project will be completed. and is predicted to save SSDC approximately 700 tCO2e per annum (52% reduction of current emissions) helping us on our way to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Renewable Energy Tariff
SSDC Supports the 2020 Government Local Electricity Bill and we will be purchasing our energy from local renewable energy generators.
In April 2021, SSDC also switched it's electricity tariff across the SSDC estate to a 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGO) backed renewable energy supply. This will help to further reduce our fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
If you are thinking of making the switch to a green energy supplier we recommend checking out the green energy comparison site Big Clean Switch here.
Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme
We are working hard to secure funding through grant opportunities to help support residents with vital retrofit work to existing housing stock. These grants opportunities focus on those that are on low income or in fuel poverty.
LADs Phase 1
In partnership with the other district councils and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) we led a successful bid to gain £803k of GHG LAD 1.b funding from BEIS. This retrofit project will deliver insulation and conversion to electrified heating to 70 Park Homes across the county by September 2021.
LADs Phase 2
The South West Energy Hub are leading further work to retrofit energy saving measures to properties across South Somerset and other South West Councils. We will be working closely with E-On and Happy Energy, who have been awarded the contract to implement this project. This project is now underway and will start by identifying eligible properties.
Sustainable warmth Fund (LADs phase 3 and HUGS phase 1)
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have opened up an application window for a third phase of funding to support low-income households heated by mains gas through the Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD3), together with support for low-income households off the gas grid through the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG1).
The primary purpose of the funding is to raise the energy efficiency rating of low-income and low EPC rated homes on the gas grid and off the gas grid and support economic resilience and a green recovery.
We are working with the other Somerset Districts and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to submit a consortium application for funding under this scheme.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Funding
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) - is a requirement placed on energy companies over a certain size to help improve domestic energy performance of the homes of those vulnerable to the cold or on low incomes. In the ECO3 phase there is a new additional facility called Flexible Eligibility. This is where the Councils can set criteria to direct assistance towards local private sector homes at risk of fuel poverty, but falling outside of the normal rules of ECO.
We have published a joint Statement of Intent which can be found here.
The eligibility criteria has been designed to support fuel poor activity in Somerset and provide another route for us to help deliver energy improvements to our residents.
All potentially eligible households will need to apply through the Home Energy Team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy in order to be assessed. Telephone 0800 082 2234 or visit their website here.
Battery Storage Plant
We have developed and invested heavily in an innovative Battery Energy Storage Site (BESS) project near Taunton to help store renewable energy and reduce the wastage when too much is being produced. When there is more power being supplied from renewables than the National Grid requires, energy will be stored at our site and this electricity can then be fed back into the grid at a later time when demand has increased.
This has now been expanded to 30 megawatts (MW) to maximise the capability of the site, working in partnership with the following national and international businesses; BYD, Opium Power Ltd, Western Power Distribution, British Solar Renewables Ltd, Kiwi Power Ltd and National Grid.
Through our joint venture company SSDC Opium Power Ltd, another 40MW Battery Energy Storage site near Fareham in Hampshire is now being built, funded by SSDC, which will be one of the most advanced in the UK. The aim is for this second facility to be completed by the end of 2022.