CARES Conference Today!

We are delighted to announce that over £20million has been awarded to five successful round 1 Local Energy Challenge Fund winners. Today at the CARES Conference, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing will announce a round 2 of the Challenge Fund, open to expressions of interest immediately.

If you weren't able to make it along to the conference today and would like to find out more about the challenge fund, you can contact

The Round 1 Local Energy Challenge Fund was announced by the former First Minister Alex Salmond MSP last year and confirms Scotland’s position as a global leader in renewables and low carbon development. 

The successful recipients are: 

  • £1.8 million to Community Energy Scotland to develop viable grid connections for small scale generators in areas of constrained network on Mull.
  • £6 million to Insch Renewable Energy Consortium to develop a community energy system linking local energy demand with local renewable generation in a rural area of Aberdeenshire – helping to reduce electricity costs.
  • £3.2 million to Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association to develop innovative local heat storage solutions, which will help alleviate fuel poverty for over 1,000 tenants across Falkirk and the Lothians.
  • £6 million to Highland Council to provide low carbon affordable heat and alleviate fuel poverty via a water source heat pump district heating network in Caol near Fort William – benefiting over 500 homes.
  • £4 million to Bright Green Hydrogen to use hydrogen to meet local transport, heating and storage needs across Levenmouth.

In addition to the awarding of the funds Mr Ewing also confirmed the Challenge Fund will be open for a second round.

Also at the conference today, the Scottish Government announced the publishing of a consultation on Good Practice Principles on Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments. 

Announcing the allocation of the funds Mr Ewing said:

“The Scottish Government is defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision; putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system; and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments. 

“These projects are a huge step towards defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision. They will provide vital learning across extremely challenging areas, such as adding value to local economies, matching local supply and demand, and addressing fuel poverty.     

“But we know this is just the beginning, and we want to support more innovations like these. This is why the Scottish Government will run a second Challenge Fund, subject to the next spending round, making up to £500,000 will be available in 2015/2016.”


For more information see

These projects are a huge step towards defining a distinctive approach to Scotland’s future energy provision.