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Forest Row Energy and Emerson College celebrate renewable energy funding success.

Updated: May 29, 2019

Forest Row Energy and their new partner Emerson College are celebrating their successful funding award from the Rural Community Energy Fund. The £20,000 award will be used to fund a renewable energy feasibility study at the College.

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a £15 million programme, delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

The study at Emerson College, which will be managed by Forest Row Energy and supported by their partner Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo), will investigate the feasibility of a campus wide renewable energy network for Emerson College. It will focus on reducing oil and LPG consumption for space and hot water heating and also on producing energy for electricity.

The technologies that will be investigated will include district heating that utilises a central biomass boiler with a heat network to supply buildings with heat and hot water, ground source heat pumps, solar photovoltaics and solar thermal.

The study will include consultation with everyone that is connected with the College and anyone from the wider community who is interested in the project. The consultation will explain the options that are being looked at and make sure feedback and comments are considered. The study will also include the development of a funding plan for any technologies that are found to be feasible.

Esmé Michelle Wild, Director of Funding and Projects said ‘This is an exciting project that will look to benefit the college, the wider community and reduce our local carbon footprint. It will develop our local renewable energy sector that puts the power of energy back into the hands of our community.

The plan is to create a local educational resource that demonstrates community energy generation and renewable energy technologies particularly in rural areas that are not connected to mains gas.’

If you are interested in this project and would like to support the community energy movement in Forest Row and the surrounding towns and villages, please consider becoming a member of Forest Row Energy. Find out more here.

If you would like to keep up to date with the project and receive an invitation to consultation events as part of the Emerson College project please email and put ‘Keep in touch with Emerson College Project’ in the subject header.

For more information on RCEF, visit


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