Major Boost for Community Owned Renewable Energy Projects

The publication of the Terms and Conditions of the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction by Minister Bruton has been welcomed by Community Power, Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS-1) is an auction-based scheme which invites renewable electricity projects to bid for capacity and receive a guaranteed price for the electricity they generate.

Major Boost for Community Owned Renewable Energy Projects

Members of Community Power at a recent Sub Partners Meeting


Do you know where your electricity comes from? Who is producing the electricity that powers your lights, TV, fridge etc.? This is something that most of us don’t even think about. However it’s something that Community Power wants to change. You can now choose to buy your power from local community owned electricity generators


Community Power is a partnership of community energy groups from Tipperary, Limerick, Galway, Mayo and Dublin and is now working to support more renewable energy projects across Ireland working to create a sustainable energy future for their local areas. The group grew out of Templederry Wind Farm, which is Ireland’s first and only community owned wind farm and is now working to support more renewable energy projects across Ireland, and will buy electricity from small suppliers.


Major Boost for Community Owned Renewable Energy Projects

Visitors from Dingle on a recent visit to Templederry Community Owned Wind Farm


RESS-1 will provide a pathway for community projects through the community preference category and a mandatory Community Benefit Fund for all projects successful in the auction. Together, these aspects of the scheme provide a major boost to communities in contributing to Ireland’s renewable energy and climate goals. The community preference category in the RESS 1 auction is an innovative and ground-breaking measure to provide greater financial support to communities investing in renewable projects. This delivers a powerful signal that supports and enables community investment.

John Fogarty, Chairperson of Community Power said “This is a game changer for community owned electricity generation in Ireland. We strongly commend the minister for bringing forward the community element of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme and welcome the release of the terms and conditions. Ring fencing the community pot will make a huge difference. The advantage of a 100% locally owned development is enormous. All revenue generated remains within the area, giving a huge boost to the local economy”.

Gregg Allen CEO of Community Power said “If we look at towns and villages years ago they were much more self sufficient in the areas of food, energy, transport and local employment. The RESS will enable us in Community Power to assist communities in developing their own renewable energy projects which will lead to greater energy security and local employment. When communities and people own their own renewable energy plant, the return to the local economy can be 5 to 10 times greater than when a corporate developer owns it.”

Minister Bruton said: “Radically reducing our reliance on fossil fuel is central to responding to the climate emergency. This Scheme is a crucial enabler as we decarbonise our electricity grid and move to clean, renewable energy. Round one will deliver an expected 30% increase in renewables – that is the equivalent of powering up to 640,000 homes every day.

“Today we are publishing the terms and conditions of the Scheme to give more clarity ahead of the Scheme formally opening for applications in March. The community participation element is crucial. We must ensure local communities are involved in projects in their area if we are to deliver on the scale up that is required.”

Full details of RESS-1 are available on the Department website To find out more about Community Owned Electricity Supply or to switch your provider visit

The Community Power project is supported as part of the European Regional Development Fund through Interreg North-West Europe.

Seminar on Energy Democracy

There will be a free seminar in Nenagh Arts Centre on 24th March at 7pm entitled ‘Energy Democracy & Community Power’. This will be a panel and group discussion. Speakers include Paul Kenny, CEO of Tipperary Energy Agency, John Fogarty of Community Power and Cliona Sharkey, Policy Advisor with Trocaire. The event will be chaired by Kate Ruddock, Deputy Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland. Online registration is required, see details on


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