Rural Energy and Community Heat (REACH) is exploring new and exciting opportunities for rural communities to achieve their net zero ambitions.  A previous National Grid innovation project identified that rural low voltage networks need more interventions to help the uptake of low carbon technologies when compared to urban environments. Therefore, rural communities may need to adopt alternative approaches to achieving their decarbonisation objectives.

Regen is working with National Grid Electricity Distribution and key technology partners including VEPOD, Kensa utilities to trial these alternative approaches. VEPOD provide off-grid EV charging and storage solutions. Kensa Utilities have delivered shared heating infrastructure for local communities.

You can read more about Round 4 of the Strategic Innovation fund here.

A member of Wellesbourne & Walton Parish Council’s Steering attended the Rural Energy and Community Heat (REACH) workshop run in part by the National Grid which was circulated to Parish and Town Councils earlier this year.

The workshop explored how novel approaches can speed up the rollout of low carbon solutions in their area. This may include shared low carbon heating, EV charging, electricity storage and renewable electricity generation.

Following the workshop, eligible organisations will complete a detailed questionnaire to provide more details about the organisations and its project. The most appropriate organisations will attend a meeting with Regen and project partners to discuss the project in detail. Following this, selected projects will be part of an application to Innovate UK for further funding to continue the project. After this, selected projects will have the opportunity to conduct feasibility studies.

Although the parish did not have a suitably unique or ambitious project to apply for the assistance offered, the Workshop Report generated has been made available to local Councils.

Read more about the project, download the presentation, which includes details of Kensa Network’s Heat The Streets project.

Regen has worked with the MCS Foundation on a paper looking at what’s needed to ensure the distribution network is ready for net zero.