The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has opened a public consultation on the draft Terms and Conditions on the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS).
The purpose of the scheme is to enable offshore renewable electricity projects to bid for capacity to generate electricity for the state and to agree a set price for the electricity generated. The aim of this consultation is to engage stakeholders and gather feedback on aspects of the Terms and Conditions to ensure the efficient and economical delivery of renewable electricity projects under the scheme.
We wanted to advise you that ORESS stipulates that all Offshore Wind Farms, developed under the scheme, must have an associated Community Fund. These community funds will be significant in scale. The proposed administration of the funds under ORESS, is different to what was proposed under RESS 1, a similar auction programme that applied to onshore renewable energy generation. Under RESS1, the generator was responsible for the administration of the community fund, in accordance with the Good Practice Principles Handbook, including the need to ensure community participation in fund decision-making via the establishment of a local committee.
A revised approach has been outlined for the offshore scheme, whereby generators are being asked to pay the Community Fund into a combined Community Benefit Fund. It appears that this fund is proposed to be managed centrally, on a national level, rather than managed by the developer at community level.
We wanted to advise you of this evolution and provide you with an opportunity to respond to the consultation, as these funds might be relevant to you and the organisations that you work with.