Local energy communities

Generating and sharing clean energy and heat through local energy communities.

We are committed to increasing the amount of renewable energy and heat generated and used in the county through our West Sussex Energy Strategy.

In addition to developing generation and storage capacity on council land, we work in partnership with others to help them collaborate and establish local energy communities.

A local energy community brings together users and small-scale energy generators in an area to influence the development of the local energy system and increase benefits for people. This often includes:

  • investment in renewable energy systems, such as solar photovoltaics (PV)
  • batteries to store renewable electricity
  • heat pumps
  • district heating solutions.

The community invests and collectively reaps the benefits of that investment in terms of reduced energy costs and environmental impact. Local energy generation and storage can also help to improve the stability of the grid.

Local Energy Communities for the 2 Seas Region (LECSEA)

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is a partner in LECSEA, an EU-funded project to make setting up local energy communities feasible by encouraging investment in mid-scale renewable energy (electricity and heat).

The project will create four local energy communities, one in each of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.

Partners will work to:

  • create the legal and organisational frameworks needed for community members to collaborate successfully
  • develop investment in the physical infrastructure needed to generate, store and share clean energy, for example:
    • solar PV
    • energy storage
    • district heating
    • micro grids to share energy locally
    • smart meters.

The local energy communities will comprise commercial partners and some domestic properties generating and sharing electricity and heat at a local level.

LECSEA runs until September 2022 and is funded through the Interreg 2-Seas grant programme:

  • 60 per cent funding from the EU
  • 40 per cent match funding from participating partners.

The lead partner for the project is Intercommunale Leiedal. Other UK-based partners are Essex County Council and Community Infra who are working with Isle of Wight Council.

Businesspark Integrated Sustainable Energy Packages (BISEPS) project

In delivering LECSEA we will draw on the experience we have gained in working with Manor Royal Business District through the BISEPS project to develop a local energy community there.

BISEPS is a major EU-funded energy efficiency and renewable energy project for business parks that we have been working on since 2016.

The aim is to develop an energy model to help business parks implement the most effective sustainable energy technology and reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. We are working with the Manor Royal Business Improvement District to develop the model.

The BISEPS project has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas Programme 2014/20. This has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract 2S01-067.

LECSEA Interreg logo
Last updated:
24 August 2021
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