£20,000 community awards from Newton Downs Solar

South Devon community energy enterprise, Yealm Community Energy (YCE), have made their first community fund awards from the Newton Downs community solar farm. £20,000 has been awarded by the community benefit society to a range of local projects including tackling fuel poverty, solar panels on the village hall, environmental education and the set up costs of a new community housing enterprise.

The funding came from the Newton Downs community solar project which was purchased into community-ownership from Good Energy in December 2017. The purchase was funded by CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners); a specialist community energy investment fund. CfR supported YCE with the negotiations with Good Energy and CORE.

Newton Downs solar farm is forecast to generate a surplus income of £20,000 per year, and £1.4 million over its 30-year lifespan, which will be used to support community projects tackling social and environmental issues in five parishes around the Yealm Estuary. CORE invested £5.83 million to fund the purchase. Over the next 2 years CORE will work with YCE (supported by CfR) to optimise the solar farm and enable full transition to community ownership through a community investment offer.

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