Solar has proven to be a particularly popular technology among the 26 winners of this year’s M&S Energy Community Energy Fund, which will share a pot of £350,000.

M&S sought to build on the success of last year’s award with a further round and received nearly 200 applications from community energy initiatives up and down the UK after it opened in May.

After 125 applications were shortlisted, M&S assembled a judging panel comprising Mongoose Energy chairman Sir Ed Davey, Forum for the Future director Giles Bristow, SSE head of community investment Morven Smith, M&S community energy manager Kuljinder Pank and 2015 winner Nancy Sheterline.

The judges picked seven individual projects to win judges awards of £12,500 each, with a further 19 projects also granted regional prizes.

Successful projects ranged from community and public buildings such as sports clubs, youth centres and schools looking to deploy a range of renewable energy and efficiency technologies. Solar proved to be the most popular by featuring in the applications of three judge’s awards and seven regional awards.

Winning projects in the judges awards include:

  • Papworth Trust Solar Panel Fund, East Anglia – Solar PV
  • Energy Centre for Enham Trust, Home Counties South – CHP
  • 55th Ayrshire (Dairy) Scout Group, Scotland – Roof Insulation
  • Amery School, Home Counties South – Kinetic Floor Tiles
  • Power to the Anglers, Yorkshire – Solar PV
  • Toxteth Food Central, Merseyside, Cheshire & North Wales – Solar PV
  • Teckels Animal Sanctuaries Renewable Energy Campaign, South Wales & West – Air Source Heat Pump

John Hazeldine, head of M&S Energy, said the company had been “overwhelmed” by this year’s awards, particularly a newly-added crowdfunding element which raised an additional £28,798 towards the campaign.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the projects come to life and benefit local communities. As a 100% green energy supplier, supporting those who share our vision of a sustainable future through renewable energy is really important to our company, our customers and our colleagues,” he said.

Former energy secretary Ed Davey meanwhile praised the importance of community energy projects.

“The level of community support during the voting stages is a clear confirmation that community energy is thriving and communities around Great Britain want and need it – more so at this time of uncertainty in the community energy field. The judge’s prizes were stand out, presenting some unique and innovative ways to think about generating and saving energy.”