Earlier this year, we completed a renewable energy feasibility study for Otley Town Council.
With a focus on community-led or owned schemes, we were asked to look at potential options for community renewable energy projects within the council boundary. Potentially, this was an enormous task, so we identified several options to focus on.
Following early stage investigation, hydro-electricity was eliminated from the study along with heat pumps and biomass due to a variety of obstacles. Whilst there is potential for heating buildings via heat pumps or biomass heating systems within Otley, investigating these would require an additional study.
The renewable energy study investigated the feasibility of ground-mounted and roof-mounted solar PV and a community wind turbine for electricity generation and solar thermal hot water panels to help heat an indoor swimming pool. Ground-mounted solar PV was investigated for several selected sites across the Otley Town Council area; some owned by the council, others privately owned. An Otley Solar Schools project was proposed to install roof-mounted solar PV panels on all schools in the town council area. Ways of improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock were also outlined.
A vision of a ‘Zero Carbon Otley’ was proposed together with the establishment of an ‘Otley Community Energy Group’ to deliver and manage local energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects.
Following extensive and detailed investigation, including looking at relative costs and benefits for each technology, a comprehensive feasibility study report with recommendations for action to improve energy efficiency of the existing building stock and install appropriate renewable energy technologies at several locations was produced.
We would like to thank Otley Town Council once again for the opportunity to undertake, what turned out to be, a very interesting study. We would also like to extend our thanks to the individuals and organisations who contributed to the study.
If you live or work in Otley and would like to be involved in community energy projects, please contact Otley Town Council: