Communities

CommunitiesWe are committed to engaging with and listening to the communities we work in and aim to share the economic benefits of deploying renewable energy in an equitable way.

Renewables projects tend to be much smaller in scale than nuclear or coal-fired power generation. Therefore many more installations are required to achieve the same output. As a consequence of the move to renewables, more of the population can expect to encounter energy infrastructure in their communities. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Harvesting renewable energy in a locality creates wealth, and we feel it is right that the host community sees some of this benefit. We are committed to engaging with communities in the localities we seek to develop projects. For both wind and solar projects we are happy to work together with the community to deliver an innovative approach to distributing community benefit. We are also keen to explore with communities how they might invest alongside us, in both the development phase and the operational life of our projects.

Wind energy can be an emotive subject in some communities, with the main concerns revolving around visual and noise impacts. There are strict guidelines such as the ETSU-R97 standard and noise levels form part of the planning process. The approach taken in the ETSU-R97 standard is explained in the executive summary; in simple terms, the recommendation is that noise at the nearest noise-sensitive properties should not exceed 5 decibels above background levels, day or night.

Likewise, landscape and visual impacts form a key part of the planning application. Livos Energy recognises the need to work with communities to ensure that affected residents are informed of the facts and, where appropriate, have input into the project to minimise the impact of it.

Livos engages with local communities through a mix of face-to-face research, exhibitions, articles and letters in local press and a site-specific website. We request the involvement of landowners to generate local support for their project.

The voluntary industry protocol suggests developers should contribute £5000 per megawatt of capacity per year to the host community or equivalent value. Through liaison we explore how the community would want this value to be delivered. It can be, although need not be limited to, an annual payment to the community council, the use of which is determined solely by the community council.

Community – solar

Solar energy can be an emotive subject in some communities, with the main concerns revolving around transport during the construction phase and visual impacts. With ground-mounted solar projects located on farmland, the land can remain in productive use (e.g. sheep grazing) or used to promote biodiversity (e.g. flower meadows and refuges for amphibians and pollinating insects).

The landscape and visual impacts of solar projects form a key part of the planning application. Livos Energy recognises the need to work with communities to ensure that affected residents are informed of the facts and, where appropriate, have input into the project to minimise its impact.

Livos engages with local communities through a mix of face-to-face research, exhibitions, articles and letters in local press and a site-specific website. We request the involvement of landowners to generate local support for their project.

We believe that local communities should benefit financially from our solar developments; however currently there is no industry agreed protocol for the level of community benefit so we take a similar approach to that which we take for wind projects and seek to engage with the local community on means of distributing benefit and possible shared ownership.