Five Greater Manchester local authorities have won funding for a clean energy project that will develop 10 renewable schemes – creating a blueprint for UK regions aiming for net zero carbon emissions.
Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester (UCEGM) brings together five local authorities that have declared a “climate emergency” – Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, and Wigan.
The 3-year £17.2m project – part-funded with £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund – will capitalise on under-utilised council-owned sites and buildings, to develop 10 Megawatts of solar PV and hydro-electric generation,battery storage,electric vehicle (EV) charging, and smart energy management systems.
Importantly, the UCEGM project will focus on innovative new business models to maximise the value from the electricity generated, for example by taking advantage of regulatory changes, or utilising flexibility between clean energy assets distributed across the city as part of Greater Manchester’s emerging Local Energy Market.
The projects planned include solar farms at Chamber House farm in Rochdale and Kenyon Way in Salford, three rooftop solar schemes in Stockport and a rooftop solar scheme at Makerfield Way in Wigan. In Manchester, a large rooftop solar scheme and battery will be installed at the council’s Hammerstone Road depot, in Gorton.
Richard Halsey, Capabilities Director at Energy Systems Catapult said: “There are three equally important parts to this innovation project.
“Firstly, building renewable energy generation on under-utilised council land to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions for local authorities.
“Secondly, incorporating energy storage and electric vehicle charging using smart digital systems to make weather dependent renewable generation more flexible to local energy demands.
“Thirdly, developing a range of innovative business models that not only reduces energy costs but which may attract private sector investment and grow local businesses.
“The aim for Energy Systems Catapult is to provide a blueprint that is replicable and can help scale-up local and national clean energy systems.”