This is the story of how community energy group Yealm Community Energy bought a solar farm to benefit their local community as part of the Community Energy Together project. SPP has previously reported on this project here, while our sister site Current± has been running a series on community energy in the UK. In 2020, SPP interviewed Yealm Community Energy’s Andrew Moore.
We watched as Hornet, the 15 ft plastic rowing boat, was lifted from a trailer and placed into the cold choppy waters of Plymouth sound. This was the first race she’d been in. Yes, she’d been used all winter on the River Yealm, that was the reason she was bought in the first place, as a boat that the team could practice in no matter the weather. But this race, today, would be the first competitive race she’d ever been in. You may be wondering what a racing rowing boat has to do with buying a solar farm? Well, in the case of Yealm Community Energy (YCE), it’s everything.
The area around the River Yealm is a picture of idyllic Devon countryside. Green rolling hills lead down to wooded embankments at the water’s edge. Towns and villages overlook the river connected only through tidal fords and small ferries. National Trust signs proudly denote areas of outstanding natural beauty and sleepy post offices act as meeting places for morning walks.
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