A GREEN energy award has been presented to the Exeter and East Devon Growth point which includes Cranbrook.
Cllr Paul Diviani, the leader of East Devon District Council, accepted the award on behalf of the growth point partnership at a ceremony in Bath. The prize was for being the "most proactive public sector body" at the annual Regen South West Green Energy Awards.
It came in recognition of the work undertaken on schemes including the low carbon district heating system which serves the new community of Cranbrook and will also power Skypark, and working to help partners overcome barriers to funding for other low carbon initiatives such as green travel.
Cllr Diviani said: "With the success of the heating scheme for Cranbrook and Skypark, the partnership's Low Carbon Task Force (LCTF) can now press on with the delivery of other eco initiatives in East Devon and Exeter.
Councillor William Mumford, chair of the growth point board and county councillor added: "This is just the beginning. LCTF are now working on similar schemes for the Monkerton area of Exeter, the creation of a heat network for the city centre and a retrofit programme for the existing housing stock so that they are much more energy efficient, thereby reducing heating bills.
"Undoubtedly the success of the Growth Point to deliver on its low carbon agenda and move forward with its schemes has been due to the strength of partnership working. By keeping the end objective in sight, the team have utilised the skills of many to overcome numerous hurdles and make projects like district heating scheme a reality."
The Growth Point partners include energy provider E.ON, the developers for Skypark and Cranbrook, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Steve Jackson, HCA area manager, said: "A broad range of partners from public and private sectors have come together to really add value to the Cranbrook project, and are creating a high quality new and distinctive place that people will choose to live and work in. Partners should be congratulated for the commitment and resolve they have shown to keep this crucially important project on track."
A new E.ON energy centre is set to be producing heat by spring next year, with the centre serving as the energy hub feeding the heating network and provide a sustainable and cost-effective source of energy to businesses at Skypark and homes at the neighboring community of Cranbrook.
At Cranbrook, approximately 2,900 homes will be fuelled through the first phase of residential development. The system could provide an estimated 13,000 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, the equivalent of removing 5,200 cars from the road. It will potentially make Cranbrook one of the largest low carbon communities in the UK to deliver Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to all residents.
Jeremy Bungey, head of community energy at E.ON, said: "The Cranbrook and Skypark developments have sustainable energy built in to their very foundations, providing a future-proof source of low carbon energy across homes and businesses.
"The Growth Point was instrumental in bringing together energy companies and local authorities as well as a number of housing and business developers and the HCA. By working together – as we're seeing with the Low Carbon Task Force – we can start delivering real successes."
Cllr Pete Edwards, leader of Exeter City Council, said: "Managing Exeter's transition to a low carbon economy is a key priority of the city council. The work of the low carbon task force is shining a light on where the city should prioritise its action."
Green Energy Awards
More than 130 companies entered the ninth annual South West Green Energy Awards, organised by Regen SW.