Eastgate Renewable Energy Village
|Name of the project||Eastgate Renewable Energy Village|
|Description||Using solar, wind, hydro and biomass sources to generate electricity, the community surrounding the area can reap the benefits of increased employment and tourism as well as low cost and sustainable energy. The project is now in the finalizing stages of gaining permission to start the development. At this stage the ownership of the area will transfer to the community, free of charge.|
|Project developer||Weardale Task Force|
|Financing sources||Grant from the dept of energy and climate change.|
|Initiator||Weardale Task Force|
|Investor(s)||Lafarge Cement, One NorthEast, local community|
|Project owner||Weardale Task Force|
|Actors who receive benefits||Local community, non profit organisation still to be created|
|Legal background||The project is mainly possible because the cement company wished to return the area to the community, free of charge, in a way which would be beneficial to its economic development. Currently, the municipality is in the process of researching any liabilities concerning this transaction prior to accepting it.|
|Background information||With the departure of the local cement company (Blue Circle was bought by Lafarge Cement UK ) from the cement quarry, Eastgate lost a large source of income and employment. It was therefore promised by Lafarge Cement UK. that there would be an alternative use for the location, one that would restore economic benefits in the community. When a geothermal source was found, providing naturally heated water of a quality usable for a spa, the area was immensely attractive to use as a eco-friendly touristic destination.
|Type of benefit sharing mechanism||Benefits in kind
Indirect social benefits
|Renewable energy source||Wind power
|Application of BSM||Benefits in kind:
Local contracting: The work which needs to be done in the development stages of the project is delegated to local contractors as much as possible, generating temporary employment for the local community.
Local employment: As the project will result in a small scale renewable energy showroom, there will be permanent employment in maintenance and operation. Furthermore, there will be indirect effects due to the increased tourism, which will generate jobs in hospitality businesses, as well as other economic activities.
Indirect social benefits: The project is designed to attract various sectors of tourism, as it provides for a spa as well as a showroom for five different methods for harvesting renewable energy sources.
|Roles of the different stakeholders||The Lafarge Cement company facilitates the project by donating the area to the community.
Local government stimulates the project by streamlining the process of permit application, having a facilitating role between the developers and the local community, as well as providing information to its citizens.
|Impact of BSM of this project on socio-political level or market acceptance||This project is one of the first in the UK which uses such a large variety of energy sources. If the project works out to be as successful as anticipated, the use of renewable energy sources as a (new) source of income to a region as well as an attraction for tourists, could be stimulated and repeated within the country as well as in the rest of Europe.|