Eligible projects

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Shared Community Ownership

of Renewable Energy systems

All about shared community ownership under the Community Energy Strategy's voluntary protocol

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Courtesy: Neilston Community Windfarm

If it's worth doing ...

The Shared Community Ownership protocol has been developed to represent best practice in community engagement for energy projects.

Even if your project does not fall within the eligibility criteria on this page and so is not required to adhere to the protocol, you should consider whether it might be advantageous to do so anyway.

Legislative powers

The draft criteria in the back-stop powers are different in some respects from those shown here.

They will apply to onshore wind, solar and hydro-power developments of 5MW and over.

Which developments are covered by the voluntary protocol?

Not all projects are required to offer shared community ownership. Eligibility under the voluntary protocol is as follows:

Project size

The voluntary protocol applies to projects with capital values of £2.5 million or above. The Taskforce accepted that the additional complication of adding additional investors could only be justified at a certain scale.

Project purpose

Only projects which export the majority of their energy into a public network majority of their output into a public energy network are covered by the voluntary protocol, which for this purpose defines the majority as 75% and over.

It was accepted that a project mainly for a local energy user (such as a solar system on a factory roof) need not adhere to the protocol, though it might choose to do so.

Energy sources

It is accepted that the criterion above will lead to eligibility being almost entirely electricity projects. Some renewable heat projects might export to a district heating network, but they are typically configured for local heat consumers. There is a possibility of biogas projects exporting bio-methane into the gas network, and these could potentially fall within the scope of the protocol.

There is a case for adopting a similar approach for all new energy generation plant, including nuclear power stations, gas-fired plant and shale gas extraction, for example. The Community Energy Strategy, the shared ownership protocol and this website, however, deal only with renewable energy options.

Renewable technologies

Although this approach is expected to apply most widely to solar, wind and hydro-power developments, it does in principle applied to other technologies as well.

The protocol makes no distinction between onshore and offshore projects.