STA to back DECC community energy push

The STA is set to revise its ’10 commitments’ on solar farms to support DECC’s push for increased levels of local ownership.

The draft amendment, to be discussed by members, reads: “We will engage with the community in advance of submitting a planning application and, where commercially viable and where there is a local appetite, we will innovate in investment opportunities for local communities in their local solar farms including partnerships with local authorities.”

The newly-released Voluntary Agreement from DECC asks solar developers to explore models of community ownership where there are legally constituted community energy groups and where it is commercial viable to do so.

The STA says it supports this as community ownership will further enhance the positive contribution solar makes to the British countryside by enabling people to benefit financially.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the Solar Trade Association, said: “Our members are already pioneering successful ways for the public and local authorities to invest in local solar farms – the Voluntary Agreement published today aims to accelerate innovation with with local ownership and investment across the renewables sector.

“Our aim is to find real win-wins for the industry and communities that will ultimately enable the UK to accelerate the deployment of clean power.”