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WREN Newsletter July 2014

Newsletter of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network
July 2014

In this issue:

· Vote for locally owned energy
– Wadebridge Energy Company

· £10,000 for Community Projects

· Annual General Meeting

· Launch of the Wr5 note

· Superfast exhibition

Vote for locally owned energy
WREN has so far been very successful in helping people install their own solar panels, but many people and organisations cannot afford the up-front cost to do this.

To help solve this problem, we are setting up the Wadebridge Energy Company, a community-owned not-for-profit company, which amongst other things will fund the installation of roof-top solar panels on local domestic, commercial and community owned buildings, such as schools and clubs.

Under the scheme, the building owner will receive as much of the generated electricity as they can use, absolutely free. The Wadebridge Energy Company will receive the export and feed in tariffs. Any surplus income will be used to benefit the local community.

To help get us going, WREN has applied for two grants from Energyshare Cornwall.

To have a chance of winning these grants, we need you to demonstrate local support by voting.

Voting is through the Crowdfunder website. It is on-line and easy. Click on the links, read more about it, and vote now.

1) £20,000 to fund a share issue to local people of shares in Wadebridge Energy Company, so that the community really will own the company and benefit from its revenue.
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/setting-up-wadebridge-energy-company-wec/

2) £50,000 to fund the initial solar PV portfolio and, once the shares have been issued, roll over into a second portfolio, for which more shares will be issued, and so on.
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wren-solar-town/

This is effectively an on-line popularity contest. Competing projects will also be soliciting votes from their supporters, so we need you – our members – to vote too. Click on the links and follow instructions: it’s a separate vote for each grant.

And tell your friends to vote, too – they don’t need to be WREN members.

This is a significant step forward for both WREN and the concept of true community ownership of electricity generating assets.

Support your local community – vote for the WREN Wadebridge Energy Company projects.

(Do you get the impression we’d really like you to vote..?)

£10,000 for Community Projects
A £10,000 fund is available for community projects to benefit people living in Wadebridge, St Kew, St Mabyn and Egloshayle.

The money comes from the Middle Treworder Solar Farm under a “Section 106” agreement made when it was given permission to go ahead, and is available as grants to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations and community groups in the area around the solar farm.

There will be one award of up to £5,000, one of up to £2,500, one of up to £1,000 and three (or possibly more) awards of up to £500 each to eligible organisations which apply by 31st August 2014.

WREN administers the fund, but all decisions about the awards will be made by an 11 person fund committee made up of representatives from Wadebridge Town Council, the Parish Councils of St Kew, St Mabyn and Egloshayle, the landowner and WREN.

The fund committee wishes to make grants for projects that will benefit children or young people, or people in fuel poverty or at risk of being so, and also to low carbon initiatives and climate change mitigation or adaptation projects.

Organisations must apply by 31st August 2014 using forms available from WREN, and the fund committee’s decisions will be announced by the end of September.

WREN director Tony Faragher said, “WREN is really pleased to be able to help run this fund. We are looking forward to receiving the applications – we know many groups and organisations have great ideas for projects that will be of real benefit to the local communities, but just need some financial help to get moving. We have made the application process as simple as we can because we don’t want to put anyone off by too much paperwork.”

You can get application forms and further details of eligibility by calling in at the Energy Shop, The Platt, Wadebridge, or by email to communityfunds@wren.uk.com.

Annual General Meeting
Please put a note in your diary for the WREN annual general meeting on 30th September 2014. Details of time and place will be notified. All members are entitled to attend – indeed are encouraged to do so. Ensure your opinions are heard.

Launch of the Wr5 note
In our June Newsflash we announced the winners of the children’s competition to design a new note for Wadebridge’s local currency. The notes have now been printed and the official launch will take place at

11.30am on Wednesday 30th July

at Wadebridge Museum,

Trebur House, on the corner of Cross Street and Chapel Lane, Wadebridge.

At the same time, we will present the serial number 1 of the new Wr5 and the old Wr25 notes to the Wadebridge Museum.

Superfast exhibition
Falmouth University students have designed the future – or some aspects of it at least. The students, supported by Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network, worked with local people to develop ideas to improve life and business using superfast broadband technology and turn the ideas into designs. Their projects are now on display at WREN’s Energy Shop in Wadebridge.

The projects are diverse, covering health monitoring, storing and sharing electricity generated from domestic solar panels, education, a superfast toolkit for businesses and (naturally enough for Wadebridge) cycling and cycle hire. Nigel Wiggett of Bridge Bike Hire was one of the local business people interviewed at the start of the projects. “It was a delight to work with the young people, who were very professional, and I am extremely impressed with what they have produced.”

Caroline New (above) of Impress51, a website and graphics design company in Wadebridge, said, “It was good to be part of these projects and to live and work in a town that promotes such initiatives.”

Falmouth University’s project organiser and Sustainable Product Design course coordinator Su Vernon said, “We were really impressed by the innovative ideas which students came up with.”

The Superfast Design exhibition is on free public display in the WREN Energy Shop on The Platt, Wadebridge, until 30th August, 11am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday.

Published by:
Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) Limited