Councils win funding for pioneering renewable energy project

Energy Systems (ES) Catapult, and five local authorities in Greater Manchester, have been awarded funding for a pioneering clean energy project.

On 23 September, ES Catapult confirmed the funding will support the Unlocking Clean Energy in Greater Manchester (UCEGM) project, which will aim to capitalise on under-utilised council-owned sites and buildings to develop 10 renewable schemes across the city. This will create a blueprint which can then be followed by other regions across the UK aiming for net zero emissions. It will aim to develop 10MW of solar PV and hydro-electric generation, battery storage, electric vehicle charging, and smart energy systems.

The £17.2mn project has been part funded with £8.6mn from the European Regional Development Fund, will last three years, and involves five authorities that have declared a climate emergency – Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Wigan.

Projects planned under UCEGM 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. ES Catapult will focus on the development of innovative business models that can maximise the value from the electricity generated. The outputs delivered are set to account for 22% of the Greater Manchester five-year environment plan energy generation target.

ES Catapult