Kate Gilmartin, of My Green Investment CIC, successfully applied for funding from the Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action to run a peer mentoring project for community hydro groups. Esk Energy (Yorkshire) Limited was a member of the Community Hydro Forum whilst it was in operation. Kate asked Esk Energy to help mentor other community hydro groups based on the experience they have gained from the Whitby Esk Energy project.
The funding supported the development of the community hydro forum, the running of four sessions for community hydro groups and the sharing of the lessons learnt and knowledge gained by the Esk Energy team. Each workshop/ master-class was targeted at consecutive stages of hydro development. As many of the groups within the Community Hydro Forum are at different stages, this broader experience was brought into the workshop.
The 4 workshops covered the following stages:
- Is it a goer? – 10th May 2014
- Licences to operate and project planning – 17th September 2014
- Contracts and finance – 28th November 2014
- Building, commissioning and operating – 5th March 2015
These workshops were for up to 15 attendees from community hydro groups across England and due to their popularity the average attendance was approximately 20. The content from the workshops was developed into four online modules by Summations Ltd and reviewed by Esk Energy. As the community energy scene is constantly evolving it is now more appropriate to share our experience via an online practitioner forum.
The Community Hydro Forum has been superseded by the online practitioner forum run by Community Energy England. Esk Energy is a member of the practitioner forum in order to continue to share our experiences and also to gain support from others in the running of community energy schemes.