Landmark solar railways project among Community Energy Award winners

A landmark project aimed at piloting the powering of Britain's railways with on-site solar was amongst the winners of this year's Community Energy Awards.

The event, run by Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales and sponsored by Co-op Community Energy and the Greater London Authority, celebrated groups that seek to create a green, clean energy system for the benefit of the people.

Addressing the awards, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said that he was going to do everything in his power to make London “cleaner, greener and healthier.”

“Thank you for your dedication to delivering clean energy projects in London and across the country. Our London Community Energy Fund was launched to help more projects get up and running. We’ve already supported a range of projects from solar panels on school roofs, to improving the energy efficiency of community buildings. Together we can take the big strides necessary to tackle climate change.”

The winners were greatly varied, including a world-first track-side community and commuter-owned solar project that powers trains, and a conservation project that uses theomosolar beehives to generate heat and destroy the Varroa mite without chemicals.

A panel of experts chose the winners ahead of the ceremony, following an open application process. Apart from the Community Energy Photo Award, which was voted for by the public and scooped by Greater Manchester Community Renewables.

Emma Bridge, chief executive of Community Energy England said they were “honoured” to be able to celebrate so many talented organisations and individuals.

“In a year when the sector has seen the removal of government support, it’s crucial for us to come together and learn from projects that are succeeding even though they are contending with such a challenging policy background.

“Community energy projects are taking ground-breaking technologies and testing them in real life settings, championing the transition to a decarbonised energy system and positioning themselves as the trusted intermediaries between institutions and the public. Quite simply community energy groups are showing their friends, families and neighbours now, how we will all need to change our energy behaviours in the future.”

A full list of the winners follows:

Community Renewable Energy Project Award 

North Kensington Community Energy (NKCE)

Energy & Carbon Saving Award

Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo)

Local Authority Partner Award, sponsored by Power Paired

Bristol City Council (BCC)

Islington Council - highly commended

Community Energy Finance Award

Power to Change  

Friends Provident - highly commended

Collaboration Award, sponsored by Power to Change

Riding Sunbeams 

Community Energy Young Champion

Nadia Smith

Community Energy Champion

Nick Rouse  

Environmental Impact Award

The Naturesave Trust – Solar Bee Project 

Social Impact Award

South East London Community Energy (Selce)