We’re huge supporters of community energy so always look forward to Community Energy England’s annual awards event – an opportunity to get together and celebrate with other individuals and organisations that are helping advance local clean energy solutions.
This year the event was hosted at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester, and we were thrilled to be attending as a finalist in the Collaboration in Community Energy category alongside our friends Aura Power, Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) and RADE (Residents Against Dirty Energy).
The award recognised “the most commendable collaboration between a community energy organisation and its partners”, with entrants required to “demonstrate outstanding efforts in supporting and advancing community energy through partnerships, investments, policy advocacy, or various forms of assistance, which have increased community energy activity or impact”.
We were nominated for our 20 MW Feeder Road battery project in Bristol, which we acquired from Aura in 2020. It was down to great campaigning work by RADE and BEC that stopped the site being home to a polluting diesel STOR generator, which neither contributes to the UK’s net zero journey nor benefits the local community, instead of a battery storage project which is a cleaner technology and enables more renewables to be connected to the grid. Currently in the latter stages of commissioning, we’ve now offered BEC an opportunity for shared ownership, giving local people the opportunity to take a stake.
We’re particularly proud of the project’s backstory, which shows how business can work together with the local community to develop solutions that will have a positive impact; environmentally, socially and financially. It was great to also have this recognised by Community Energy England on the night, especially against some tough competition in BHESCo, Sustainable Hayfield and Community Energy Together. A big congratulations again to all the other winners and finalists – we look forward to celebrating another year of progress at the 2024 awards!
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside Aura Power, Residents Against Dirty Energy and Bristol Energy Cooperative on our Feeder Road project. They have shown a huge amount of passion and commitment to the cause – building the battery simply wouldn’t have happened without them. At Thrive, we believe in a people-led transition and instantly recognised and admired the community spirit at the centre of the project. Giving local people an opportunity to own a share of the project was important to us and we’re proud to be the first commercial owner to offer this for a standalone battery project in the UK. We’re looking forward to seeing how this supports BEC in its aim to build more community-owned projects in Bristol, while we also hope to replicate this model for other communities across the country which are looking to own their own sustainable energy assets.” – Monika Paplaczyk, Investment Director, Thrive Renewables