Run by local people, doing things differently
Founded in 2015, Yealm Community Energy (YCE) is a member-owned Community Benefit Society, which brings local solar farms into community ownership.
Yealm Community Energy was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a member-owned Community Benefit Society in July 2015. It was established to bring local renewable energy installations such as solar farms into community ownership.
Following surveys of potential sites in the local area with low environmental and visual impact, we identified three solar farms suitable to bring into community ownership. All sites are now fully operational, are in community ownership, and surpluses are being donated to fund local environmental projects, a huge benefit to the local parishes.
Meet the team
Peter M Brown MB, BCh, FRCS is a retired NHS Consultant, a role in which he became very aware of the health consequences of climate change. After moving to Devon in 2005, he set up an educational environment group, which soon expanded into projects encouraging local people to increase the energy efficiency of their houses and to install renewable energy systems. As chair of YCE, Peter brings the necessary drive and enthusiasm to encourage volunteers to give up their valuable time for the common good and zero carbon.
Ray Holland, BSc, MIET, is a chartered electrical engineer, trained at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Manadon, Plymouth. He has spent the last 30 years managing renewable energy projects and energy policy programmes in Africa, Asia and Latin America, including managing a small consulting firm, and an EU programme that set up the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (now GET.Invest). Much of this work involved local communities owning their own electricity supplies, so he is keen to apply lessons from this experience in his own community in South Devon.
Dominic Crawley brings extensive banking and risk evaluation knowledge and experience to the Yealm board. He had a 40-year career in financial and capital markets, including 20 years in banking and subsequently 20 years with S&P Global Ratings, where he was an executive managing director and head of Global Rating Services. Dominic joined the board for Yealm as he saw the opportunity to share his knowledge and skills and contribute to making the opportunity to acquire three local solar farms become a reality, thereby securing a lasting endowment to the local communities. Dominic lives in Newton Ferrers.
Tony Roper has nearly 30 years’ experience of making and managing infrastructure investments. Between 2006 and 2017, Tony was responsible for two listed infrastructure funds, financing and making investments in a wide range of infrastructure assets including solar PV. He joined YCE to help with the financing and purchase of the solar farms for the local communities, including Newton Ferrers where he and his wife have a home.
Stephen Brown has recently retired after a career in trading seafood. Based in London and with offices in Europe and the USA, Stephen ran a seafood company trading in frozen seafood mainly from the Far East to Europe, USA and Central and South America. He has also been involved with Seafish in the UK and SIPA in Europe working on technical and regulation aspects of the seafood trade. Stephen is a resident of Holbeton.
Tracy Ebbrell has an extensive career background covering banking, aviation, project management, environmental conservation, charitable funding and marketing, and, as such, was the ideal choice with the broad skills base needed for the operations manager role at YCE. Tracy lives in Holbeton with her family.
The Rules of the Community Benefit Society are approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We report annually to the FCA and are subject to FCA regulation. The Rules can be found on our documents page.
The board of directors is drawn from our members. We welcome expressions of interest from anyone interested in either joining the board or contributing their skills. We are particularly keen to build our capabilities in financial management and commercial law.