Based in South Devon, Yealm Community Energy (YCE) is a non-profit social enterprise, run by local people, doing things differently. We provide locally-generated clean electricity, with all profits reinvested in community projects, for the residents of the parishes bordering the Yealm estuary – Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo, Holbeton, Yealmpton, Brixton and Wembury.
Households in the Yealm area pay around £7 million per year to outside energy suppliers, representing about 5% of earned income. This money leaves the local economy and benefits large commercial companies. Taking ownership of local clean energy generation will retain the profits within the community and promote our long term sustainability.
The Clean Energy REvolution.
Be part of it!
What we do
We take ownership of well designed and managed solar farms in the area on behalf of the community and use the profits for local environmental and social projects. We will be offering the opportunity to invest, with priority for local people living in the Yealm area, Devon and the SouthWest.
We are a Community Benefit Society, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Our clean energy projects
Our first community project is an existing solar farm at Newton Downs. We are part-owners and will be raising debt and equity finance over the next three years to take full community ownership. We will be launching our first share offer shortly. Priority will be given to local investors in the Yealm area, Devon and the SouthWest, but we will also welcome investment from across the UK. See Investing in Solar Farms for more details.
A second community solar farm is planned at Creacombe, on the borders of Yealmpton and Holbeton. This has planning consent and we plan to bring it into community ownership once it is built. It will be one of the first community solar farms in the UK with no subsidy, showing that solar power can be competitive with centralised fossil fuel generation.
Generating clean energy. Benefiting our community.
We want to:
- Enable the local and wider community to share in the ownership of local and renewable low carbon electricity/heat generation projects
- Generate funds for projects which help the local community reduce its energy use and reliance on fossil fuels
- Support educational and other community activities which promote awareness of energy and environmental issues
- Lead to a long term improvement in overall environmental sustainability in the local community
Why community energy
While large numbers of solar farms have now been built around the country, most are owned by large investment funds for the benefit of remote shareholders with little accountability to the local community. They make little effort to manage the biodiversity of the sites or to engage with local people. Community ownership retains the profits locally for the benefit of the area while ensuring that the site enhances biodiversity and can be used to educate people about clean energy.
Solar farms that are well designed, well located and well managed can have minimal visual impact and can improve the ecology of the land where they are sited. We support the code of practice for siting and management of solar farms agreed by the National Farmers’ Union.