Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF)
Mountfield Road, Lewes
Ovesco is focusing mainly on the opportunities for renewables and energy efficiency in Mountfield Road, Lewes. Ovesco IPS, which raised the money for the solar roof, is the lead organisation and sister company Ovesco Ltd will provide services. The project will look at the feasibility of a combined heat and power system (CHP) in the area with the potential to generate local energy and cut bills, and more broadly at how the road could become a beacon of low-carbon living.
Wave Leisure, Southdown College and Priory School are keen to work with Ovesco. Meetings have been held with local people, with the assistance of Councillor Ruth O’Keefe, and a from a survey of residents’ current energy use and insulation a group of houses and flats have been chosen for a professional (SAP) domestic energy audit. Grants will be made available for those who need more insulation.
Professional help in identifying the feasibility of a CHP plant is being provided by Hoare Lea Sustainability, a leading engineering company with an excellent record in this business. David Saunders, instigator of the visionary Woodland Enterprise Centre at Flimwell and Project Manager at Woodland Enterprises Limited (Brighton), will provide evidence on the quantities of wood for the plant that can be sourced reliably from the South-East. This survey will also contribute to plans for a wood hub in Lewes where people can buy logs and timber for their own use.
Chris Rowland, Managing Director of Ovesco, says:
‘This is a wonderful opportunity for us to take forward the work our local community began with the Harveys solar roof, investigating new energy sources for the area, and doing something of real value for this important and diverse part of Lewes’.
Liz Mandeville, a director of Ovesco, underlines the role of community engagement in the project:
‘We have held a meeting with local residents, and talked to lots of individuals, in their homes, in the school and college, and generally in the area. There’s lots of interest and support. We look forward especially to working with the students. It’s their future that will be affected most by how we all act now, and we have enormous respect for the young people who are already trying to get the rest of us on board.
Barcombe Energy Group
A partnership between Ovesco and Barcombe Energy Group is one of only three groups in the South-East to have achieved funding from the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF).
The purpose of LEAF is to help communities with a good track record in renewable energy to identify new opportunities to extend their work in the local area. Ovesco’s successful creation of a community-owned solar roof on Harveys’ depot was a big factor in the decision to provide funding for further work.
Barcombe Energy Group will take the lead, with support from Ovesco, in carrying out an audit of energy resources in and around the village. Ollie Pendered from the Group says that they will be looking at a wide range of ways in which renewable energy could be generated, from individual roof slopes for PV and solar thermal, to woodland, water and industrial/farm buildings for bigger projects. Barcombe has extensive resources of these kinds.