Community Generation Fund

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The Community Generation Fund is a national fund created to provide a catalyst for the widespread development of community-owned renewable energy infrastructure.

Climate change is a global challenge and is at the centre of public and private sector agendas. Transition to a low-carbon economy is essential from an environmental, economic and social imperative.

Renewable energy investment will play a fundamental role in this transition but it requires a motivating force behind it. We see communities across the UK as critical change agents.  Our vision is for widespread community-led renewable energy projects around which communities will congregate, form collaborations and work together.

The Fund is designed to assist communities seeking to develop renewable energy generation infrastructure which will create renewable energy, social engagement and a long term income source to be recycled by the community into relevant social impact initiatives. In other words, the Fund is seeking to help communities create their own environmental, social and financial legacy.

If you would like to apply for funding, please submit a Pre-Application form

Overview

The Community Generation Fund provides commercial but creative loan funding for communities at the pre-planning (development) stage of their projects, as well as the construction (post-planning) stage:

  • Development Loans: contingently-repayable loans for design,  environmental and other external costs involved in achieving the required planning and other consents/licences
  • Construction Loans: long-term loans for equipment, construction and commissioning costs (post planning consent) either stand-alone or alongside bank finance

The Fund aims to provide access to capital at project stages or scales where funding is needed most but is not readily available. Please note that the Fund is designed to supplement rather than replace traditional sources of funding. It is not a grant or “low/nil cost” scheme. Please note also that the Fund has finite capacity and applications will be assessed on a competitive basis i.e. not all eligible applications will be approved by the Fund credit committee.

The Fund will consider project sizes from 25kWp capacity upwards, subject to assessment of technical viability, financial viability and social impact. Typically, the project is likely to involve total feasibility/pre-planning costs of £20,000-£150,000 (depending on technology and scale) and construction costs of £250,000-£2,000,000.

Currently the Fund is focused on supporting communities falling within the top 50% of the latest available Indices of Multiple Deprivation, with a particular desire to support those falling within the top 20% most deprived locations.  To check the ranking of your location, please check your relevant Index of Multiple Deprivation below:

  • For projects in England click here
  • For projects in Scotland click here
  • For projects in Wales click here
  • For projects in Northern Ireland click here

The Community Generation Fund has been developed by the FSE Group. National Energy Foundation (NEF)  is the Lead Partner to the Community Generation Fund and has a range of support services it can offer.

The Fund has been launched with the support of the initial investors, Big Society Investment Fund and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.