Energy Garden’s mission is to enable people to invest in renewable energy generation, greening London’s transportation infrastructure, improving air quality and biodiversity, and empowering communities and young people. Energy Garden will generate income upon acquiring renewable energy assets, which benefit from a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) or Renewable Obliga-tion Certificates (ROCs) and the sale of electricity into the grid or to private offtakers.
Energy Garden began as a community initiative, founded by Agamemnon Otero, and installed its first community garden at Brondesbury Park in 2012. London Sustainable Development Commission recognised the project as a London Leader Project in 2014. In 2015, Energy Garden was awarded £750,000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund to extend the project across the London Overground network.
The stated goals of Energy Garden are as follows:
As of May 2018, Energy Garden has enabled the installation of 26 gardens at rail and tube stations across 14 boroughs of London by supporting 67 community groups, delivering 37 school programmes and training 14 young interns.
“Energy Garden is a great initiative bringing communities together and building close bonds. Some of the initial feedback has been great and I am looking forward to the day when we have gardens set up at Hackney Downs.” Rohan Palmer, Station supervisor at Hackney Downs
Energy Garden is cultivating disused, arable land on transport infrastructure thereby promoting green spaces, biodiversity, cleaner air, stronger communities and youth education.
The community groups involved with Energy Garden include existing gardening groups, wildlife supporters, interested residents and schools. Each community group goes through a 14-stage process to take it from nominating a station to becoming guardians of a completed energy garden. During this period, the group participates in a public consultation process, de-bating the best use of the available land.
Following issuance of the Bonds, revenue will be used to provide support to delivered energy gardens through a fully-funded volunteer coordinator who will assist the community to maintain the garden on an ongoing basis.
Energy Garden will use the proceeds of their offer to acquire existing solar projects that will provide the income base that the energy garden programme requires. In the future, Energy Garden intends to develop solar projects itself on and around London’s transport network infrastructure and is working closely with strategic transport partners.
Energy Garden has assessed over 200MW of solar PV assets and has selected an initial pipeline of approximately 12.5MW. The sites are of varying sizes and cumulatively generate enough energy to power 3,800 homes with a saving of 5,375 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Once funds are raised and Bonds issued to investors, Energy Garden aims to acquire assets as soon as possible. Successfully acquired sites will be managed by a full time in-house asset manager, or third-party provider, who will carry out annual legal, technical and accounting asset management duties.
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