West Sussex County Council is working with the Manor Royal Business District near Gatwick Airport to create a local energy community (LEC). The LEC will enable companies to invest in clean energy technology together and share the benefits by trading the electricity and heat they generate locally. This will help businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, lower their operating costs and improve the district’s reputation as a sustainable place to do business.
Located next to the town of Crawley in West Sussex, Manor Royal is one of the largest business parks in the south east of England and home to more than 500 companies of varying sizes and from different sectors, including manufacturing, retail and administration.
The County Council is working closely with Crawley Borough Council and the Manor Royal Business Improvement District, a local body that represents companies within the business district, to involve and engage stakeholders and shape the LEC proposal.
The LEC proposal will build on feasibility work carried out during the BISEPS project which identified a number of areas, or ‘business clusters’ at Manor Royal where suitable renewable energy technologies, including solar PV, battery storage, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems and ground source heat pumps could be installed. The project also identified the potential for a local district heat network to share heat energy across the business district.
During 2021, work on the governance, legal and financial arrangements needed to set up the LEC will be completed. A draft business plan will be available for consultation by the end of 2021. Once the consultation is complete, companies wishing to participate will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
We expect energy community agreements to be signed and the local energy community to be established by July 2022.
Contact: Ingrid Bennett (LECSea Project Manager - West Sussex County Council) on 03302 224 682 / firstname.lastname@example.org.