New requirement ensures community projects will be 100% community-owned to gain 15 year support in Government’s renewable electricity support scheme (RESS)
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has announced that all projects applying to the community category in future RESS auctions must be 100% community owned.
The Minister said:
"This move signals yet further democratisation of our energy system. I urge communities with an interest in renewable energy to embrace this opportunity. Communities will now be able to retain all the benefits that are associated with generating their own electricity. These benefits can provide a secure long-term financial boost to the community at large and allow reinvestment into securing the community’s long-term future."
It is recognised that electricity generation is a complex task and especially so for communities. In that regard an enabling framework of supports is being developed by the Department and the SEAI with details to be announced next month. Communities who have already worked collaboratively with commercial developers to initiate a project may still choose to maintain that collaboration on a contract for services basis.
Minister Ryan concluded:
"This is a terrific chance for communities to be part of Ireland’s change to a greener economy at a local level."