In the last financial year (April 2015-March 2016), we have paid interest on our loans and repaid some of our capital. The interest and capital repayments are then used by our funders to fund other community and renewable energy projects.
We make quarterly revenue share payments and have made our first capital re-payment to CO2Sense, a community interest company, based in Leeds. CO2Sense are an ethical investor in renewable energy generation and environmental projects across the UK.
North York Moors National Park
We pay interest and have made several capital payments on our loan from the North York Moors National Park Sustainable Development. This money has then been used to fund community projects which include projects providing environmental benefits e.g. recycling project or wildlife habitat improvements.
We have held open days and provided talks/site tours to a range of local groups to help them understand how and why we produce electricity using the River Esk.
We attend meetings related to the improvement of the River Esk and have adopted our local section of the river to help control invasive plants such as Himalayan balsam.
Community Energy England
We are active members of Community Energy England, responding to their calls for evidence and contributions to consultations on matters relating to community energy.
In 2014-15 we took part in a peer mentoring project funded by the Cabinet Office and as a result developed a set of e-learning modules aimed to support new community hydro groups. These are available on our website and also through the Community Energy Hub run by CEE. We continue to respond to queries from other community energy groups where we can help.
We estimated the carbon footprint of the installation to be 150 tonnes (Te) of carbon to cover the CO2 used for things such as production, transport and concrete in the installation. According to DECC, 0.542Te CO2 is saved per MWh of electricity produced, therefore we needed to generate 276.7 MWh to cover the CO2. We have in effect paid back the carbon used in the production and installation of the turbine within 3 years of starting generating (payback date = 19th November 2015)
Over the past few years we have responded to requests from research students in universities both in this country and abroad who are researching the field of community energy.
We worked with Teesside University to provide a practical research project to an undergraduate student.
We’re still working with the Environment Agency to help them learn more about migratory fish behaviour.