As part of our long-standing partnership with Leapfrog and our shared commitment to scaling the capacity of community energy and the social impact market in the UK, we established in 2018 a first-of-kind incubator for the community energy sector, “Leapfrog Launchpad”. This brings together commercial, legal and financial expertise, in a fully co-ordinated ‘complete package’ approach, designed to develop new and replicable business models in a post-subsidy environment which has seen a deceleration in the growth of community energy sector. Other partners include global technical advisory firm, ITP Energised, and there are a close alliances established with accountants, Johnston Carmichael, as well as PfalzSolar, a co-operatively owned contractor with a track record in the UK and Europe.
A critical strength of the incubator are the partnerships that are forged. Each model is undertaken with a community energy partner who will pilot the concept and have shared ownership in its design and delivery. We envisage developing 2-3 new models a year. The services delivered under the incubator are provided on an “at risk” basis until the pilot project can be funded.
The incubator has had early success in developing three new models for local ownership/ delivery which are being taken forward:
Private wire solar for water utilities under a long-term corporate/customer PPA, being championed by Community Energy South and Southern Water.
Solar into electrified railways to power our trains (“Riding Sunbeams”), being championed by 10:10, Community Energy South and Network Rail.
A solar investment model being pioneered by a licenced supplier to give their retail customers an opportunity to participate in one or more solar parks, with a credit made to their energy bill related to the value of the energy generated by their share of the solar farm.
We look forward to creating more sustainable social impact as our models commercialise.
A link to Leapfrog’s website is here.