* Exe Hydro is featured on p.12 of June/July edition of @ReconnectMag http://ow.ly/bFXPG
* Exe Hydro also featured on p.10 of British Hydropower Assoc newsletter (pdf) http://ow.ly/bFYll
* Good press helps with disappointment of not winning Co-op funding - strong project but wrong part of country #accidentofgeography
"Transition Exeter submitted an excellent application, which scored strongly across all of the criteria. The only concern was that the landowner’s support hadn’t yet been secured, and this was essential to the project’s success. However, this risk was also shared by other projects and wasn’t a determining factor in shortlisting applicants. The reason why Transition Exeter’s application did not progress is because of the scale and type of technology, and the regional spread of groups shortlisted for interview. Three hydro projects were interviewed, all with very strong proposals. Two of these were for larger, more ambitious schemes than the Exeter proposal [we couldn't have been any more ambitious] – which is why they received priority. The third submitted a similar scheme to Transition Exeter, also with a high quality application. In choosing between the two, the other scheme was shortlisted because there were no other strong proposals put forward from their area of the country. We were unable to shortlist a fourth hydro project because a wide range of technologies were required to be shortlisted for the interview panel.
"I appreciate that it’s disappointing not to be shortlisted when your bid was very strong, and that there’s limited feedback we can give which could have improved your application."
An overdue update
We've had a bit of disappointment in the last few weeks, as we didn't get the Co-op funding - an accident of geography as you'll see from the feedback. So we've had to regroup a bit, and have decided to concentrate on St James' weir.
We're still investigating who actually owns the weir. We know that the Environment Agency owns one bank and Exeter City Council the other, and the local residents association say that someone owns the air above the weir, but we don't know anything about the weir itself. We've been in touch with the Crown Estate, who put us on to the Treasury Solicitor "Bona Vacantia", which I think is fair to say isn't the most well-known public sector organisation. Any other ideas for avenues to pursue gratefully received.
Likewise any ideas for sources of funding for feasibility studies. We'd like to commission a detailed study of St James' weir, covering: technology evaluation and selection; updated estimates for energy generation; design drawings; and budget costing. The study would provide material for: the business and financial plans; further community engagement and approach to stakeholders, including planning; and the Environment Agency's required pre-application for licences.
25 April - Picked up lovely new leaflets
25 April - Surveyed 106 people at the Guildhall, 95% in favour, 5% don't knows
26 April - Submitted Full bid to Co-op Community Energy Challenge
26 April - Met up with other socent folk at the Exeter Social Enterprise Network
27 April - Submitted EOI to Big Lottery Coastal Communities Fund
27 April - Brief chat to enthusiastic Ben Bradshaw MP about the project
30 April - Informal meeting with our account manager at the Environment Agency
There, I think we're up-to-date now.
Good piece in the Exeter Express & Echo this week - http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/River-power-plan-progress/story-15820776-detail/story.html
We're having a stall in the Guildhall shopping centre on 25th April. Come and find us next to the ambulance - I'm told you won't miss it!
Received the Community Energy Challenge full bid application form! It's long, but will really help us focus our thoughts on the project, whether or not we are successful with the bid.
I had a really good day yesterday at the Renewable Energy Marketplace organised by RegenSW - http://www.regensw.co.uk/events/regen-sw-events-/renewable-energy-marketplace-2012. It was good to catch up with some of our supporters; pick the brains of various hydro, legal, financial and environmental impact assessment experts; and make contact with a number of developers and other support organisations.
Good news! Our Expression of Interest was successful. Next steps: "You will receive guidance and an application form for the full bid stage in the next week, along with feedback on your EOI and details of the help available to you in completing your application".
Today, we submitted the Expression of Interest to the Co-operative Energy Challenge. We'll find out on 9 March if we have been successful and called to submit a full bid. Fingers crossed!