Latest updates and news

Find out more about what YCE are doing in the community below

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YCE launches 2024 Community Benefit Funding round.
Project Milestone
February 11, 2024

YCE launches 2024 Community Benefit Funding round.

YCE's Community Benefit Fund is open for applications. Since 2018 YCE has donated £100,000 to local environmental projects across the 5 parishes. The funding round will close on 21st April 2024.

See related projects:
We have made the news all over the UK today!
Project Milestone
January 25, 2024

We have made the news all over the UK today!

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4166525/uk-solar-farms-transferred-community-ownership

YCE take ownership of 3 local solar farms.
Project Milestone
January 15, 2024

YCE take ownership of 3 local solar farms.

YCE are delighted to announce completion of 3 local solar farms into community ownership. We would like to thank all of you that invested in our share offer to realise this long held ambition.

See related projects:
Share Offer is now closed.
Project Milestone
November 10, 2023

Share Offer is now closed.

A tremendous thank you to everyone who invested in YCE's share offer. The offer is now closed. YCE are delighted to have been able to secure the 3 local solar farms. What a journey this has been! We aim to complete on the purchases by the end of 2023.

Investor testimonial as we reach £400,000 raised on YCE share offer
Project Milestone
November 7, 2023

Investor testimonial as we reach £400,000 raised on YCE share offer

£400,000 share raise milestone reached and a super testimonial from one of our investors. "YCE is an inspirational community endeavour. An initiative which will go down in the history of 'what did South Hams do to respond to the Climate Emergency?' as one of the most worthy of projects. My husband and I are investors. Proud to support a meaningful and well thought out project which aims to benefit local communities, can provide a return on investment as well as supporting ambitious renewable energy projects. I hope this is shared far and wide. Good luck to the A Team!!"

Purchase of the Solar Farms was a success!
Share Offer
October 26, 2023

Purchase of the Solar Farms was a success!

But we still need more investors to step up

Thanks to those (over 100) who have invested so far and enabled us to reach our minimum investment target. This is enough to enable us to proceed with the purchase, thanks to an increased junior loan from PtC & BSC. But more investment will make our financing task much easier.

Our existing share offer is being extended for 2 weeks to 10 November 2023, to allow more people to invest and support our ownership of the solar farms, with the additional community benefit that will bring.

More information on the increased junior loan support is available in an addendum to the share offer document

To make an investment you will need to be registered with Ethex

In case you missed yesterdays Ethex Cuppa Club webinar with key speakers from around the sector here is the link: Webinar: Community Energy – Who Benefits? – YouTube

Next Q&A drop in session for any questions you may have on the YCE share offer is on Friday 6th October at the Rose and Crown Yealmpton.

10.30am – Noon. Do come and see us and help us make the community ownership of 3 local solar farms a reality.

YCE hit £100,000 of its share raise target in 18 days!
Share Offer
August 10, 2023

YCE hit £100,000 of its share raise target in 18 days!

Thank you to everyone that attended yesterdays live webinar to chat all things YCE share offer!

Watch below if you missed it.

YCE have hit the £100,000 mark 18 days in! Fantastic!

Join us https://ethex.org.uk/invest/yce

https://bit.ly/3qAwNSK

Capital at Risk

Want to know more about Yealm Community Energy’s share offer? Join a live discussion to learn more about a share offer to buy 3 local operational solar farms. Join us on 17 August 12:30 – 1:15PM Register here: https://t.co/MZgqkLaGpH to be part of the Ethex Cuppa Club and ask your questions. YCE Director Tony Roper will be on the panel to chat to.

Tony Roper 1 200x300 - Latest News

Read all about what YCE have been delivering by a committed team of volunteers in todays press. Yealm Community Energy: We Bought a Solar Farm | Solar Power Portal

YCE were delighted to raise 4% of its share raise target on the first day of launching yesterday. YCE are using positive investment platform Ethex for its share raise.

Here is a quick link to the YCE investment page Yealm Community Energy (YCE) – Renewable Energy – Ethex investment opportunity

Thank you to all our supporters that have read our share offer document and invested on this exciting first two days.

Capital at Risk.

Share offer launch Monday 31 July
Share Offer
July 26, 2023

Share offer launch Monday 31 July

YCE launches its share offer on Monday 31 July at 10:00 – we invite you to invest in community energy to help us support more inspiring projects locally. Capital at risk.

Come and talk to us at the Yealmpton Show to see how you can make a difference. Minimum investment £250. Maximum £100,000

Be part of the renewable age locally.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

We will have a stand at the Yealmpton Show on 26 July.  Come and visit us and chat about the latest news on the imminent share offer.

YCE will be using positive investment platform Ethex for its share offer. http://www.ethex.org.uk

Map of Yealm area 2023 version 300x212 - Latest News
Always good to receive positive comments!
Yealm News
June 28, 2023

Always good to receive positive comments!

It is understandable we have apologies from members who cannot attend our AGM on 24th June at 2pm due to other commitments, but when the apology is accompanied with positive praise we are very grateful.

I am so sorry that I will be away for this AGM so unable to attend.

It promises to be an interesting meeting but I’m unable to change my commitments.  I believe the committee have done an excellent job and the YCE has become an impressive community force.

Come and meet us!
Yealm News
June 3, 2023

Come and meet us!

YCE will be holding its AGM for members on Sat 24th June at 2pm.

If you are an existing member, or would like to join up on the day, we would be delighted to see you at Newton Ferrers Community Hall. To join YCE as a member it costs just £1. This allows you to gain voting rights and to invest in our forthcoming share offer, which will bring the local solar farms into community ownership. So much work is currently being undertaken, and negotiations are being had by the YCE team, we are in the most pivotal time for the project.

There will be a Q&A session at the end if you have any questions for the team.

AGM and further news
Yealm News
May 6, 2023

AGM and further news

YCE will be holding its AGM for members on Sat 24th June at 2pm.

If you are an existing member, or would like to join up on the day, we would be delighted to see you at Newton Ferrers Community Hall. To join YCE as a member it costs just £1. This allows you to gain voting rights and to invest in our forthcoming share offer, which will bring the local solar farms into community ownership. So much work is currently being undertaken, and negotiations are being had by the YCE team, we are in the most pivotal time for the project.

Further news – YCE had a great number of quality of projects apply for the latest round of grant funding from the Community Benefit Fund. The applicants will be informed of the panel decisions by mid June.

To date, £100,000 of financial support has been granted by YCE to local projects and causes in our 5 parishes. YCE continues to harness the power of the sun to empower our local communities.

If not at the AGM, do come and say hello to YCE at the Yealmpton show on 26th July.

Yealm Community Energy edges closer to its share offer!
Share Offer
April 5, 2023

Yealm Community Energy edges closer to its share offer!

As valued members and supporters of YCE, the journey to potentially acquiring the three solar farms at Newton Downs, Creacombe and Marlands has been slow and with numerous set backs and false starts.

As a recap, these farms are currently being warehoused by an organisation called CORE. Late in 2021, they successfully secured long term debt against these assets and spent 2022 bedding that in and planning the next steps.

Whilst we don’t wish to get ahead of ourselves, the exciting news is that we have now started drafting our community share offer documentation with the hope we may be able to go public this summer and launch this share offer enabling investors in the communities and beyond to participate in buying these three solar farms so that YCE can buy these three solar farms and they become local owned.

There is still an extraordinary amount of work we need to do and the timetable may slip but we want to share this exciting news after such a long wait. The benefit of community ownership, apart from giving investors a return on their investment, is that the forecast surpluses will flow to YCE and we will be able to use this funding via our Community Benefit Fund to continue to help local causes within the 5 parishes, which at the end of this year will have paid nearly £100,000 back into the local economy.

Join us on this journey. To become a member of YCE and to have the chance to invest it costs £1.

Brookings Down Wood
Community News
February 13, 2023

Brookings Down Wood

Yealm Community Energy hears from another grant recipient.

Dear Tracy,
I thought I would send you a couple of photos from the opening ceremony of our new shed which took place last Saturday 18th Feb. We very much appreciate the grant we received from Yealm Community Energy that helped us make this purchase.

YCE love to hear from our grant recipients on the impact and difference the grants make to our local community projects. Harnessing the power of the sun to Empower our local communities.

Tips and Resources for the Winter
Yealm News
November 13, 2022

Tips and Resources for the Winter

Here is a collection of useful tips we've pulled together to help you during the winter.

Tips to reduce your Heating Bill

  • Lowering the heating temperature on a condensing boiler to 60ºC or below can cut a bill by around 8%. For a step by step guide see Moneysavingboilerchallenge.com
  • Some combi boilers have a hot water preheat function – find it and turn it off.
  • If you have a hot water tank then insulate pipework to it and reduce the hot water temperature to the lowest workable setting.
  • If you have a combi boiler and you need to mix cold water with your hot then save money by turning the temperature down.
  • Flow restrictors on taps, and a low-flow shower head can reduce hot water usage.
  • Homes lose heat through air leakage – identify where cold air is getting in using the smoke from an incense stick, or just by feeling with your hand. Common culprits are around windows and doors, and open fires. You can buy draughtproofing seals at DIY stores, unused open fires can be closed off with a “chimney balloon” or a “chimney sheep”, heat shrink glazing film can be applied to windows, you could make an old-fashioned fabric “draught-dog” to reduce the draught at the bottom of doors.
  • Turn the heating down (but not off) in unused rooms.
  • Dress warmly – hat, scarf, jumper, extra leggings, warm feet.
  • If you cannot afford to turn your heating on then you might be able to afford to warm yourself with an electric blanket. Consider using an electric blanket if sitting.
  • Making one room really cosy can allow you to have the rest of the house colder.
  • Turning down the main thermostat a degree or two can save a lot of money over a year.
  • Thickening curtains or DIY insulated shutters can retain more heat. Use them strategically – leave shut to the North, and open to the South when the sun is out to warm your home.

Households with vulnerable people should take a cautious approach to these measures so as not to compromise health.

Helpful Resources

Sdce.org.uk – South Dartmoor Community Energy carry out home energy assessments and come to various drop-in events. 0800 112 3044

Southhams.gov.uk/Reduce-Fuel-Bills – saving money, grants, and loans from Lendology CIC

Cosydevon.com – grant funded efficiency measures for low income households.

Dsfire.gov.uk/safety/home/home-safety-visits – The Fire & Rescue Service free home safety visits are helpful and a good point of contact for vulnerable households. 0800 05 02 999

Devoncommunities.org.uk/services/devon-oil-collective Devon Oil collective – group buying to reduce the purchase price of heating oil. 01392 248919

Yealm Community Energy offers some keeping warm tips to save energy.

Autumn is delivering us exceptionally mild days and still good sunshine for the solar farms.
As we enter a very difficult winter with rising fuel, food and energy costs we hope some of our keeping warm tips may help you.

  1. Heat yourself rather than the whole house.
  2. Pull on a warm jumper or fleece, pull on an extra pair of socks or fluffy slippers.
  3. Hug a hot water bottle whilst you work from home, or in the evening whilst watching TV, or wrap yourself in a blanket or both. Just pull it down when you are on Zoom!
  4. Hot drinks warm you and your hands!
  5. Let the sun shine in by day and then close your curtains at dusk to not lose the heat.
  6. Insulate wherever you can within the house. Plug those draughty gaps around doors and windows. Ideally, loft insulation should be at 270mm. If affordable, cavity wall insulation and under floor insulation too will make a big difference.
  7. Turn radiators off in empty rooms and tuck your curtains in behind your radiators.
Misinformation around renewable energy
Yealm News
September 12, 2022

Misinformation around renewable energy

The present Conservative Party leadership contest has produced some wild and incorrect claims about renewable energy (and other things) to please the party electorate.

Unfortunately, this misinformation is seized upon and repeated by organisations such as Devon CPRE (but not National CPRE which has a much more balanced view). This Fact Check by Carbon Brief aims to set the record straight, at least about RE.

Just a few points for those in a rush:

Statements such as these have been misleading –

“our fields shouldn’t be filled with solar panels. Our high value agricultural land” should be used for farming (Liz) and “we will not lose swathes of our best farmland to solar farms” (Rishi), even provoked the Times to say the pair were “displaying staggering ignorance” and the Daily Telegraph to claim “Britain’s culture wars have reached such epically absurd proportions that even the sun is now the enemy”.

In reality, ground mounted solar currently covers just 0.1% of land in the UK, with the government target of just 0.3%, only half of that taken up by golf courses! Furthermore, they are not sited on “high grade” land, but on Grade 3b and above which is lower grade and poor productive land. Both our solar farms in Newton Ferrers are on 3b land. As PV becomes more efficient, less space is needed to produce more power – as happened in just a couple of years between the array at Newton downs and the one at Creacombe being built. 70% of land is taken up by agriculture according to the National Food Strategy. The National Farmers Union, NFU, states that Renewable Energy is a “core part of their net-zero plan and solar often offers a good diversification for farmers, keeping them in business, by providing them with a stable revenue stream and lower energy costs than gas”.

Agrivoltaics have been developed more in Japan than elsewhere and a paper in 2021 said the nearly 2,000 Agrivoltaic installations existed in the country growing more than 120 different crops, especially with low growing crops that can benefit from some shade and are harvested by hand. In our own situation locally, sheep were grazed at Newton Downs until remedial work had to be done to the array, and will revert to Agrivoltaic usage again soon, while at Collaton pollinator friendly wild flower meadow is being created around the periphery of the panels. The concept fits in nicely with regenerative farming.

Updates on our solar farms during the summer
Yealm News
August 25, 2022

Updates on our solar farms during the summer

It has been an excellent Spring and Summer so far for sunshine, and the solar farms at Newton Downs and Creacombe & Marlands have been generating plenty of electricity to sell to the grid.

The very hot spell in mid July didn’t mean that they produced even more electricity, as the panels work slightly less efficiently when the temperatures are up in the 30s, but they still produced the maximum that can be expected in mid-Summer.

The electricity production figures for the two solar farms for March to June are as follows:

March: 1,286 MWh (MW-hours or 1,286,000 Kilowatt-hours) April:    1,551 MWh May:     1,664 MWh June:     1,785 MWh  Total     6,286 MWh

That’s a lot of electricity!! It means that in these four months the two solar farms produced the equivalent of the average total annual consumption of 2000 homes.  Over the whole year they will produce the equivalent of about 4000 households, i.e. all of the houses in the 5 parishes.

The solar farms are performing consistently well and will be benefiting from the high wholesale electricity prices (following the very low prices during the COVID pandemic).  The high prices of course are bad news for all of us electricity consumers, but at least the surplus revenues from the solar farms will be staying locally, once we have the long awaited complete ownership.

Yealmpton Show has record turnout!
Yealm News
August 23, 2022

Yealmpton Show has record turnout!

YCE were delighted to welcome so many visitors to its stand this week at the Yealmpton show.

What a tremendously busy day after a three year absence. Our new gazebo which was funding by Power to Change looked very professional for the show, and will be an asset for future events. Great to have so many meaningful conversations with so many of you on all things solar.

Directors YCE show 300x225 - Latest News
Busy day yealmpton show 300x225 - Latest News
Meeting you all at the Yealmpton Show
Yealm News
July 3, 2022

Meeting you all at the Yealmpton Show

We are looking forward to meeting our members, supporters and the general public who want to know more about Yealm Community Energy at the forthcoming Yealmpton Show. Do come and say Hi to our Directors at the stand.

Many thanks to all those YCE members last month who attended the first face to face AGM meeting in nearly three years.

YCE members heard from YCE Chairman, Peter Brown, who gave updates on the technical issues on site being resolved, how the ecology of the sites was improving, how the latest round of YCE Community Benefit Fund had been distributed, (the fund awarding grants totalling £80k to date to local projects and good causes), and how the Senior part of the refinancing debt had been completed. That was a snapshot! demonstrating how much time and energy is input into this project for the benefit of the communities in our local parishes.

The difference our Community Fund is making
Community News
June 4, 2022

The difference our Community Fund is making

It is always a busy time when the latest round of YCE’s community benefit fund closes as we receive the impact reports from last years recipients.

Incredible to see what a difference some grant funding makes.

Holbeton Bird Box project is an example. £300 grant supporting a team of volunteers to make bird boxes and place them across the village leading down to the Erme estuary. Picture of tit chicks within two months of the box being placed.

Wonderful!

Devon Community Energy Spring conference
Yealm News
May 13, 2022

Devon Community Energy Spring conference

YCE’s Operations Manager has just returned from attending the DCEN Spring conference that was held at Dartington Hall.

It was the first opportunity in nearly three years to be in a face to face networking environment, and there was an abundance of energy and passion in the room for the many vital community renewable projects happening across the South West.

The conference was a mixture of workshops and project visits across two days. It was very much noted by all how hard this work is and what an up hill struggle it can feel when most projects are run by dedicated volunteers. In some instances, this commitment has been for 15 years or more. Consensus by all attendees was that the sector very much needs paid resource for the growth to continue.

Delightful to not be on Zoom!

Bees!
Yealm News
January 13, 2022

Bees!

It may be winter but life on the solar farms always seems to be busy and literally buzzing!

I am very often asked about our bees within the solar bee hives at Creacombe solar farm, and the latest on how they are doing, especially against the deadly varroa mite. YCE is lucky to have an expert bee keeper, Martin Pope, who regularly checks the bee’s health and gives nature a helping hand when an intervention against a deadly invader is needed. This time of year the checks are mainly about making sure that the bees have sufficient store and to action against the mite!

In the winter the queen reduces her laying and as the varroa mites multiply in the bee larvae, if there is no larvae they attach themselves to the adult bees. Martin treats the bees with a vapour which reduces the varroa mites considerably and then prevents the disease going forward. In addition in the winter, the bees get a nice feed of fondant or pure sugar, and then in early Spring he will add a pollen substitute to aid the queens for premium health.

Who knew eh?

Our 2021 closing statements
Yealm News
December 10, 2021

Our 2021 closing statements

Yealm Community Energy wants to wish all our followers and supporters a very Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay well everyone!

Yealm Estuary to Moor (YEM) starts to take shape.

Yealm Community Energy was formed with the objective of using surplus funds from 2 local solar farms to fund community group projects that addressed the Climate and Ecological Emergency at a local level. So, producing renewable energy from the sun is not sufficient – we must make space for nature as well. YEM is the first major long-term multi-partner project designed by YCE to do just that along the River Yealm Catchment (bounded by the watershed). Because YEM will extend beyond our 5 parishes, we are having to secure external grants and community support to reach as far as Yealm Head on Dartmoor.

YCE will act as a facilitator for the project in its early stages, and will co-ordinate volunteers and community engagement.

YEMs aims are:

  1. To link fragmented woodland and other habitats such as diverse grasslands and wetlands along the course of the River Yealm from coastal estuary to moorland source.
  2. To restore these habitats where necessary, creating larger genetic pools and increased biodiversity along the course of the River Yealm. (“Biodiversity” here includes plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds and mammals).

If you would like more information on YEM do contact YCE Chairman, Peter Brown at petermbrownfrcs@icloud.com

Environment YCE Community Fund 2020 300x158 - Latest News

Yealm Community Energy investigates electric transport.  

18 months ago, the YCE team sat at a social distance in a large barn, and brainstormed other projects that would potentially be revenue generating to further support the community benefit fund.

One of these projects would be to offer a solar powered electric ferry service on the river Yealm. A working sub group looked at the feasibility of running an on demand service outside of the existing limited service that runs on the river. The concept of YCET (Yealm Community Electric Transport) was born.

To date, the team have had an educational trip on E-Voyager, a renewable energy ferry that runs from Royal William Yard, produced a feasibility study and full business plan and have identified the boat and propulsion system. The team have also presented the project to Yealm Harbour authority.

The project would create two local seasonal jobs, engage and train a further 6 volunteers, help decarbonise the river transport and improve water quality with no use of diesel or petrol engines. We would aim for the project to be used as a case study both regionally and nationally, and help to make a step change in electric boat transport in the UK.

The project is now at the critical stage of needing funding. We have recently applied for start-up funding but we desperately need capital expenditure funding for the boat and propulsion.

If you would like to talk further about the project and would like to give a gift, sponsor, be interested in corporate sponsorships or give a gift in kind to support the delivery of this pioneering project, do please email the team at info@yealmenergy.co.uk

evoyager1 300x225 - Latest News
We love a good film at YCE!
Yealm News
October 12, 2021

We love a good film at YCE!

We could have done with a glimmer of sun but you can’t have it all.

It is always rewarding for YCE members and the wider community to see how YCE community grants help deliver direct projects locally. Here are some pictures of the new Outdoor Classroom being constructed at Newton Ferrers school and improved access completed to Holbeton Community Orchard.

If you would like to view the full report for 2021 head over to our Community Fund page where it can be viewed in full.

NF school outdoor classroom CF funded 300x146 - Latest News
Access path to gate 300x225 - Latest News
Blooming at Creacombe solar farm
Yealm News
July 12, 2021

Blooming at Creacombe solar farm

A peak at the blooming biodiversity at Creacombe solar farm just 18 months after construction finished. Two breeding bird surveys have been conducted in 2021, 24 species were recorded on site with an overall abundance of 143 individual birds.

A total of seven BOCC listed species were recorded, five of which were red
listed species and two were amber listed species. This is a relatively good number of BOCC listed species for a small site.

Skylarks were observed in relatively high numbers within and surrounding the
solar farm and are likely to be nesting in or surrounding the site. Yellowhammer were also seen in high numbers on both visits and are highly likely to be nesting on the site.

The high numbers of red listed species highlights the importance of the site to local bird populations.

An Interactive Session with Exeter University
Yealm News
July 7, 2021

An Interactive Session with Exeter University

We were delighted to be part of a brilliant 4G live streamed science lesson from the Creacombe site.

We streamed the session to local schools across Plymouth and the South Hams, organised by Exeter University’s Exeter Science Centre.

It was an interactive lesson with many questions from the lively  250 children taking part.

Here is an edited extract of the livestreamed video.

Live lesson Creacombe 300x225 - Latest News

Our June roundup
Yealm News
June 14, 2021

Our June roundup

See below for details on our AGM and Community Grants.

YCE help make a film on “What is community energy?”

Watch it here What is Community Energy? – YouTube our thanks to Power to Change who funded the film.

Well we did try!

AGM on Sat 3rd July will now be a virtual meeting due to the extension of restrictions. We will post the Zoom link very shortly for all our members to be able to join us.

YCE Community grants in action!

Support given to a local bird box project and in only two months just 20 of the bird boxes surveyed have 23 Tit chicks!

Power of community volunteering and small funding.

AGM confirmed Saturday 3rd July 2021.

Venue: Please note there has been a change of venue to Noss Mayo Village Hall. 10am start.

We very much look forward to seeing you there in person!

Happy World Bee day!
Yealm News
May 13, 2021

Happy World Bee day!

We are very much celebrating our bees at Creacombe solar farm today on World Bee day.

Why on earth would a bee hive need solar power you may think?
Yealm News
April 21, 2021

Why on earth would a bee hive need solar power you may think?

YCE this week took delivery of 4 sets of solar powered beehives which arrived safely and are settling in at Creacombe Solar Farm.

It has became apparent that solar powered hives offer an effective and much needed chemical free solution to protecting bees from the deadly varroa mite.  What’s more, by locating thermosolar beehives on community owned solar farms, YCE can create a unique set of benefits.  Introducing honey bees can lead to improved outcomes for the local environment. The obvious and immediate benefit comes from the bees, who offer pollination services to local trees, plants and nearby agricultural crops.  In addition to this, the very presence of the bees encourages us to improve onsite biodiversity and make the environment more bee-friendly by adding habitats such as wildflowers, hedgerows and meadows. This, in turn, attracts further wildlife such as insects, birds and small mammals. The end result is the local solar farm generates renewable energy and also provides a much-needed boost to local biodiversity.  A further benefit is derived from the honey produced by the bees, which contributes to the local economy and also helps promote the benefits of the community group.

Look out for YCE branded honey next year!

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Solar beehives in situ 225x300 - Latest News
Look at the latest stats!
Yealm News
March 16, 2021

Look at the latest stats!

We love data from our local solar farms at Creacombe and Newton Downs! Look at these stats!

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Thanks to all those local projects that have applied to our Community Benefit Fund. This round of grant funding is now closed. We will announce the awarded projects in April. Good luck everyone!

Launching The Yealm Community 2020 Fund
Community News
January 10, 2021

Launching The Yealm Community 2020 Fund

From small ideas large projects can grow. Yealm Community Energy are delighted to be launching the 2020 Community Fund.

Applications are invited for Environmental Projects Only for the current grant round. Please note the closing date for applications is 28th February 2021.

“Norway had something to celebrate this week as it became the first country in the world to sell more electric cars than petrol, diesel and hybrid engines put together. A decade ago, just 1% of all cars were battery electric vehicles; today the figure stands at 54%. The nation is looking to become the first in the world to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025 and has been exempting fully electric cars from many taxes.” Greenpeace

Happy New Year to all our supporters and members!

We do hope we can see you in person at some point in 2021.

Yealm Community Energy grants in action!
Community News
December 14, 2020

Yealm Community Energy grants in action!

Delighted to see Brixton Community Compost scheme has gone live! Partly funded by YCE Community Grant Funding.

YCE Director Ray Holland using the new facility.

Brixton Compost YCE CF funded 300x225 - Latest News
Brixton Community Compost scheme 300x225 - Latest News

Yealm Community Energy are delighted to be launching the 2020 Community Fund. Applications are invited for Environmental Projects Only for the current grant round. Please note the closing date for applications is 28th February 2021.

It is vital for YCE and its funders to evaluate and monitor the impact of any grants to local projects. All grant recipients will be expected to report on these impacts and differences the grants have made.

Filming our farms
Yealm News
November 6, 2020

Filming our farms

This week, after umpteen cancellations due to weather, YCE were delighted that drone filming of both solar farms and the nearby parishes could finally happen.

Thursday was a stunningly sunny day and the 07.15am start was worth it! We hope to have some of the footage soon to share with you all. It was taken to be part of wider films and animations that YCE have commissioned for 2021.

Have a look at this super little video on Agroforestry and its benefits. Looking at the land differently with some examples locally.

Do watch our Technical Director, Ray Holland in the video below produced by Open LV, who provide energy data on Newton Downs. We are currently working on how we can get this data in real time onto our website.

No need for a wooly hat this winter!
Yealm News
October 4, 2020

No need for a wooly hat this winter!

Up to £5k available for Green Home grants – help make your home more energy efficient and save yourself money on your energy bills.

Full details below on how to apply and which installations qualify. https://greenhomesgrant.campaign.gov.uk/

YCE Grant Received!
Yealm News
August 21, 2020

YCE Grant Received!

embury Parish Council are pleased to announce that the Yealm Community Energy Fund has granted us £2500 to go towards the planting of hundreds of tree and bush whips.

This planting will not only enhance the park and encourage more walking but also contribute to increasing carbon uptake from the atmosphere. As an added bonus the wildlife will also greatly benefit from the increased habitat.

We would like to extend a very big thanks to Yealm Community Energy for their kind grant.

A thank you from us
Yealm News
July 11, 2020

A thank you from us

A tremendous thank you to all of you that recently responded to our “Expression of Interest” email, regarding our forthcoming community share offer.

We were humbled by the responses and were delighted to think that 80% of the funding target would be achieved if those pledges become actual investment in YCE.

The latest with Yealm and renewable energy in the UK
Yealm News
May 14, 2020

The latest with Yealm and renewable energy in the UK

Here's what we've been up to in the last month.

A mention of YCE Director, Andrew Moore, in the latest Solar Power Portal magazine. How will things change post CV-19?

Read it here https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/blogs/community_energy_to_focus_more_on_full_system_changes_following_covid_19

At any difficult time there will always be some positive news!

Read the latest here https://www.positive.news/environment/uk-sets-new-record-for-coal-free-power/

Watch this space for forthcoming details of YCE gaining solar powered beehives to its sites!

Being a Renewable Farmer (In The News)
Yealm News
February 13, 2020

Being a Renewable Farmer (In The News)

We've been featured in an article for our recent solar farm.

Article by journalist Hazel Sheffield in the Independent 13 Feb: on VCE, Newton Downs solar farm and the view of the farmer landowner.

How Creacombe came to be complete
Yealm News
February 10, 2020

How Creacombe came to be complete

The 7.3MW project will generate enough green electricity to supply the equivalent of around 2,440 homes, or more than half the households in the five local parishes of Newton & Noss, Holbeton, Yealmpton, Wembury and Brixton. It will save approximately 2,000 tonnes of carbon per year.

Developed in close cooperation with local group Yealm Community Energy (YCE), Gnaton Farms and the Lopes Family, the solar farm is on low-grade land owned by Gnaton Farms and was granted planning consent in 2017. Under the ownership of Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners (CORE), an initiative from charitable trust Power to Change, construction of the solar farm began in September and was completed at the end of January.

The solar farm is split into two parts:  60 percent of the site is expected to receive a small subsidy in the form of one of the last Community Feed-in Tariffs for which it was pre-accredited, while the remaining 40 percent is subsidy-free, making it the first subsidy-free community ground-mount solar to be built in the UK.

Power to Change also runs the Next Generation programme, which gives grants and support to innovative ideas for creating renewable energy, and which is advising YCE.

Peter Brown, YCE Chair, said:

“It is over five years since Yealm Community Energy started to explore the idea of bringing a community solar farm to this part of Devon which is ideal for generating solar power. We are very pleased that Creacombe is now connected to the grid, although work will continue on the landscaping and creating wildflower meadows and wildlife habitats around the panels, and are excited about the next phase of the project – launching our share offer this summer.”
“We would like to thank the people and organisations that have helped us get here: Gnaton Farms and the Lopes family for their support; CORE, Environmental Finance and Next Generation for helping us with the acquisition and transfer to community ownership; and Goldbeck Solar for building the project during a very muddy winter!”

With support from CORE and Next Generation, YCE plans to launch an investment offer this summer to enable the community to invest directly in Creacombe along with another nearby operational solar farm, Newton Downs, which is also part of the CORE portfolio.

Peter added

“Both solar farms will be able to generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of all the homes in our five local parishes helping to meet our Net Zero commitments, saving over 3000 tonnes of carbon a year. Equally important, once we have completed the share offer so they are fully community-owned we expect to generate a healthy profit which will be spent locally to grow other exciting initiatives to tackle the climate crisis such as energy efficiency, electric vehicles and more green power generation.”

Newton Downs solar farm has been operational since 2017 and has already made an important contribution locally through its community benefit fund which is administered by YCE. The 2019 grant funding round, closed in December awarding £20,000 to 14 different projects, ranging  from £5,000 to South Dartmoor Community Energy for its “Net Zero Heroes” programme, to £400 to Brixton Parish council for equipment for voluntary clean-up activities.

Leading social and environmental impact investor, Environmental Finance, advised CORE through the development and financing of Creacombe solar farm. CORE is a £50m social investment partnership between Big Society Capital and Power to Change, whose aim is to bring solar farms into community ownership and deliver lasting local community benefits.

Andre Sarvarian, Associate Director at Environmental Finance, said

We have been delighted to support Creacombe throughout the construction process. Having developed and managed CORE, Environmental Finance has been an integral part of the delivery and investment for Creacombe alongside supporting another 32MW of community solar over the last two years. Creacombe sets a leading example which can further stimulate the community energy market towards subsidy-free renewables, whilst delivering tangible social and environmental community benefits over the project lifetimes flowing directly to the local communities surrounding these projects.”

Will Walker, Community Energy Programme Manager, Power to Change, said:

We are very proud to have played a part in the creation of the UK’s first post-subsidy community owned solar farm at Creacombe.
“Our Next Generation programme is working alongside CORE to equip all the community groups with the knowledge, skills and opportunities that they need to take ownership and develop these solar assets into successful long-term projects that deliver against local needs and priorities. They will bring huge benefits to their local areas, from affordable warmth projects tackling fuel poverty, to better community and cultural spaces.”

Over their operational lifetime, CORE’s portfolio of solar farms are expected to create a surplus of several million pounds to fund community benefit projects. In the Yealm area this has already included putting solar panels on Newton and Noss Village Hall and creating a community wildflower meadow and orchard in Yealmpton.

2019 Community Fund Awards Announced
Community News
December 12, 2019

2019 Community Fund Awards Announced

The 2019 round received 26 applications requesting grants of £48,929 for projects values at £305,548.

The Community fund has only £20,000 available, so was unable to fund all of these; eight were funded in full, and six funded in part, the same overall number of applications funded as in 2018.  See the list of project funding awards here.

Featuring on Power to Change's Podcast
Yealm News
September 10, 2019

Featuring on Power to Change's Podcast

YCE was the main subject of this overview of community energy projects supported by Power to Change.

Hear the Podcast from Power to Change featuring Yealm Community Energy.

Second Round of Community Fund now open for applications
Community News
August 14, 2019

Second Round of Community Fund now open for applications

Find out how to apply for this round of funding.

See information under Community Fund on how to apply for funding for your organisation’s project.  Applications to be made by 31 October 2019.

Welcome to the New Year!
Yealm News
January 9, 2019

Welcome to the New Year!

The Community Fund Awards event on 13 December was a great success, with an inspiring talk by Prof. Iain Stewart on communicating the science of climate change, and presentations by groups who had received project grants.

See Presentation of grant awards. Date for your diary:  YCE AGM will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday 23 February 2019 at the WI Community Hall in Newton Ferrers.

Community Fund Awards
Community News
November 29, 2018

Community Fund Awards

Community Fund Awards Event Thursday 13th December 2018 7pm WIC Hall Newton Ferrers PL8 1AT

Join us at this event  for Mulled Wine and Mince Pies  and to hear more about the successful bids, and how YOUR group could obtain a grant in the next round.

We are delighted that Iain Stewart, of TV science fame, will be delivering the Keynote address

All welcome!

Our first allocation of grants
Community News
November 12, 2018

Our first allocation of grants

We are delighted to announce the first allocation of grants from the community fund to projects from community organisations across the Yealm area.

We would like to congratulate the organisations submitting the successful applications (see below).

The first year of operation of the Newton Downs solar farm, of which we currently own only a token share, has generated income for the community fund of £20,000.  This is after payment of the fees and dividends for the current majority owners (Community Owned Renewables LLP). Despite the short notice (availability of the fund announced only in July), 15 applications were received from across the Yealm area by the deadline of the end of December.  Grants were made to 14 of these projects, described below:

  • South Dartmoor Community Energy
    Pilot initiative to reduce energy poverty and carbon footprint in 5 parishes
    £2541
  • Newton & Noss Village Hall
    Installation of solar panels on commuity building
    £4000
  • Marine Biological Association of the UK
    Life on the Yealm; celebration of wildlife that lives in and around the Yealm
    £905
  • 1st Yealm Brownies (Girl Guiding UK)
    Learning how to help save the bees; educational and environmental project around bees
    £247
  • 1st Yealm Rainbows (Girl Guiding UK)
    Learning how to protect the environment; education about plastic and small changes to make a difference
    £145
  • Yealmpton school
    Reinstating a larger pond, involving preschool, afterschool club, rainbows, brownies, beavers, cubs
    £1092
  • Yealmpton Wild Flower Project
    Creating pollinator and wildlife-friendly areas within Stray Park and other community spaces
    £1750
  • Brookings Down Wood Management Committee
    Tree Safety Measures: Middlecombe Lane
    £1200
  • Injury Prevention Minimisation and Prevention (N & N Network)
    Start of Injury Minimisation Programme for Schools
    £820
  • Newton & Noss Community Housing
    Create a legal community entity to engage with local affordable housing for local people
    £1250
  • River Yealm Regatta
    Renovation for four traditional crabber boats
    £1250
  • Yealmpton Cricket Club
    Purchasing a Roller for club, with members also from N&N and Holbeton; improve safety
    £800
  • Wembury War Memorial Village Hall CIO
    Replacement of Village Hall floors to protect range of social activities
    £2500
  • Holbeton Bells
    Restoration of church bells and tower
    £1500
Our community fund
Community News
July 17, 2018

Our community fund

The Community Fund is now open for Applications for projects in the Yealm area – the parishes of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo, Yealmpton, Brixton, Holbeton and Wembury.

There will be approximately £20,000 available for the coming year. Please find our community fund page for more information.

Choosing the best energy tariff
Community News
July 14, 2018

Choosing the best energy tariff

We have partnered with our neighbouring community energy society, South Dartmoor Community Energy, to support those who could save money by switching supplier.

If you haven’t changed your energy supplier(s) for a few years then it could really be worth checking that you’re on the best tariff. South Dartmoor Community Energy, offers a free and impartial energy advice service for residents in the South Hams and are happy to help you to check you’re on the best tariff and to shop around for a better one if needs be. They can offer this advice over the phone (0800 112 3044), via e-mail (info@southdartmoorcommunityenergy.org) or via home visits. To get the best advice it’s helpful to have a recent energy bill to hand so that you can see the name of your current tariff and your annual usage figures.

YCE and CORE working together
Share Offer
January 3, 2018

YCE and CORE working together

Thanks to all who have invested so far. We still need to reach our £869k target to take 3 solar farms into community ownership. Please do look at our share offer to help us redistribute up to £7m back into our 5 local parishes. Here is the link: https://www.ethex.org.uk/invest/yce Capital at Risk.

CORE has been working with YCE over the last few months to help bring Newton Downs into community ownership. CORE invested £5.83 million to fund the purchase. YCE now has three years to raise the ‘equity’ capital and debt finance to take the solar farm into total community ownership from a community investment offer. CORE will be helping to raise the long-term loan finance, and will be implementing a range of improvements to Newton Downs in order to optimise the environmental and financial benefits. Newton Downs solar farm is expected to generate £20,000 a year of income for a community fund from the outset, and over £1 million over its 30-year life.

The YCE AGM will take place on Saturday February 3rd, at 10:00 am, in the WI Hall on the Green in Newton Ferrers.  Everyone interested in supporting this initiative is welcome.

YCE reach a share offer milestone!
Share Offer
September 5, 2023

YCE reach a share offer milestone!

YCE broke through one of its many milestones on its share offer journey this morning and passed the £150k mark!

Thanks to all who have invested so far. We still need to reach our £869k target to take 3 solar farms into community ownership. Please do look at our share offer to help us redistribute up to £7m back into our 5 local parishes. Here is the link: https://www.ethex.org.uk/invest/yce

Capital at Risk.

YCE reaches £200,000 in investment
Share Offer
September 13, 2023

YCE reaches £200,000 in investment

YCE reaches £200,000 against its share offer target of £860,000. Dates for your diary to come and see us!

Why should you invest in YCE?

Hear from one of YCE’s investors on his reasons why investing was important to him.

https://youtu.be/cspgsbUsFow

YCE are delighted to have reached the £200,000 mark against its share offer. Still a long way to go to reach target, so please come and see us at the following events:

21st Sept – Holbeton coffee and cake drop in session at the Mildmay Colours. Q&A – Tracy, Stephen, Peter. 10.30am start

28th Sept – Yealm Yacht Club presentation and Q&A drop in – Dominic, Peter & Stephen. 7pm start.

Join us on Zoom for a share offer Q&A session.  

Join YCE Director Tony Roper on Zoom to answer any questions you have on YCE’s share offer. Thurs 14th Sept 7pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84299366637…

Capital at Risk.

Email us if you can attend on info@yealmenergy.co.uk

The Ethex Cuppa Club webinar
Share Offer
October 4, 2023

The Ethex Cuppa Club webinar

We caught up with the community around our latest share offer to answer any questions they may have.,

In case you missed yesterdays Ethex Cuppa Club webinar with key speakers from around the sector here is the link: Webinar: Community Energy – Who Benefits? – YouTube

Next Q&A drop in session for any questions you may have on the YCE share offer is on Friday 6th October at the Rose and Crown Yealmpton.

10.30am – Noon. Do come and see us and help us make the community ownership of 3 local solar farms a reality.

BBC filming at Creacombe Solar Farm!
Yealm News
August 27, 2023

BBC filming at Creacombe Solar Farm!

On Monday 21st August YCE were delighted to have a film crew from the BBC film at Creacombe solar farm.

The crew filmed and interviewed grant recipients from YCE’s community benefit fund and local people who have invested in YCE’s current share offer. See the recording here.

Do read our share offer YCE Share Offer Document and if you have any questions on investing or would like to know more email YCE at info@yealmenergy.co.uk. You can also come and see us on August 29th at Newton & Noss Summer Fayre or on Sept 2nd at Wembury Farmers market.

Capital at Risk

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Get involved

We launched a community share offer in 2023 to fund the transfer of three nearby operational solar farms into community ownership. The offer is now closed.

Invest in YCE
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