United Kingdom

Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE)

Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE)

Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) is a not-for-profit, Community Benefit Society, which puts people at the heart of the energy transition, placing ownership and control of energy in the hands of consumers via clean energy projects that actively involve and benefit local communities. BWCE has so far installed 12.35 MW of community-owned renewable energy, enough to match the annual electricity demand from 4,000 homes. In addition to this, we have donated £290,000 of surplus income to our BWCE Fund for distribution to community projects to reduce carbon emissions and fuel poverty.

Whilst our main focus has previously been on renewable generation, we have become increasingly committed to energy demand management as a core element in de-carbonising the UK electricity grid. This is why we have teamed up with Stemy Energy to develop Flex Community.

Flex Community integrates digital technology designed by Stemy Energy with energy technologies i.e electric vehicle charge points, immersion heaters and heat pumps. These technologies can be managed remotely to enable householders to offer flexibility to the electricity grid, thus helping balance electricity supply with electricity demand. By building a ‘community’ of ‘flexible’ energy consumers, we aim to reduce carbon emissions, electricity bills and the need for major grid upgrades. Ultimately, being able to better manage demand will allow more renewable energy generation to be added to the electricity grid, especially community-owned generation that directly benefits the communities in which they are sited.

Through the support of Next Generation Funding from Power to Change BWCE and Stemy Energy have been trialling Flex Community in Bath and surrounding communities. As part of ReDream BWCE will be collaborating with Avalon Community Energy and other community and environmental groups to deliver Flex Community over a larger area. Some of our target recruitment areas are within our local grid operator’s (Western Power Distribution, WPD) Constraint Management Zone (CMZ) in Somerset, England. This will give us the opportunity to work directly with the distribution service operator’s grid balancing platform.

The area encompasses part of the Constraint Management Zone where the network operator Western Power Distribution (WPD) is promoting consumer flexibility to balance demand. This is a predominantly rural area but includes the small city of Wells (population 12,000) and the towns of Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet and Street.

In addition the project takes in the historic city of Bath and surrounding North East Somerset, population (196,000)

Facts & Figures

100 km2
Covered area

“As a community-owned renewable energy generator we have become increasingly convinced that, in order to install more renewables, we need to better manage consumer demand. Being part of ReDream opens up some very exciting opportunities, not only to place consumers and communities at the centre of the energy transition, but to learn and exchange good practice with partners across Europe”

Pete Capener

Managing Director, BWCE

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