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To apply as a community-led project, your project must:

  • Have a Maximum Export Capacity (MEC) greater than or equal to 0.5 MW and less than or equal to 5 MW;
  • Utilise one or more of the following renewable energy generation technologies (and not in combination with non-renewable generation technologies); wind turbines (wind), solar photovoltaic panels (solar), hydraulic turbines (hydro) excluding pumped storage, waste to energy projects, biomass projects and biogas projects

In addition, projects meeting the following community-led definition requirements:

(a) at all relevant times, be at least 51%* owned by a Renewable Energy Community (the “Relevant REC”) either by way of (i) a direct ownership of the ECP project’s assets, or (ii) a direct ownership of the shares in the generator; and

(b) at all relevant times, at least 51%* of all expected profits, dividends and surpluses derived from project are returned to the Relevant REC.

*this percentage maybe reviewed by the CRU in the ECP-2.2 Ruleset following the DECC announcement requiring 100% community ownership to be eligible for RESS Auctions.

A Renewable Energy Community means a legal entity:

(a) which, in accordance with applicable law, is based on open and voluntary participation, is autonomous, and is effectively controlled by shareholders or members that are located (in the case of SMEs or local authorities) or resident (in the case of natural persons) in the proximity of the ECP project that is owned and developed (or proposed to be owned and developed) by that legal entity;

(b) the shareholders or members of which are natural persons, SMEs, local authorities (including municipalities), not-for-profit organisations or local community organisations;

(c) for any shareholder or member (with the exception of “Sustainable Energy Communities” as registered with SEAI), that shareholder or member’s participation does not constitute their primary commercial or professional activity;

(d) the primary purpose of which is to provide environmental, economic, societal or social community benefits for its shareholders or members or for the local areas where it operates, rather than financial profits;

(e) in respect of which, each shareholder or member is entitled to one vote, regardless of shareholding or membership interest; and

(f) which is, or which has at least one shareholder or member that is, registered as a “Sustainable Energy Community” with SEAI

To apply, a Community-led Project Declaration Form (174 KB) must be completed by a company director (the Applicant). You must also complete either an NC5 application form (413 KB) or an NC5A application form (259 KB). It is important that you complete all relevant sections of the declaration form and the application form. All site details and applicant information should be uniform across both forms. More detailed information on the application process is available on our website at this link.

A valid SEC must be registered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Community-led project applicants are required to include the name of the SEC and briefly outline the relationship between the Applicant and the SEC in a Community-led Project Declaration Form. For more information on SECs, please visit the SEAI website.

We have developed an interactive capacity heatmap interface, containing capacity information on all of our 3-phase LV, MV and HV DSO substations which is available to view at this link. Please read the accompanying notes and important details section on this page to understand what the map does and does not provide.

At any time. Unlike category A (Batch), there is no application closing date for community-led projects. You may apply at any time within a full calendar year.

No. You can apply for a community-led project with or without planning permission. However, you will be prioritised in the applications process if you have secured planning permission and you will be required to have planning permission in order to receive your full connection agreement.

Community-led projects will receive a connection assessment prior to receiving their connection agreement, which will outline the proposed connection method and associated connection costs. This connection assessment will be valid for two years from date of issuance and will provide you with the opportunity to progress your planning permission application. If a project does not secure planning permission within two years, the connection assessment will lapse, and the project may need to be re-studied which may result in an alternative connection method and associated costs.

Yes. All community-led projects, with or without planning permission, will receive a connection assessment (connection method and cost).

No. If your project is successful in being included into a batch (ECP-2.1, ECP-2.2, ECP-2.3) and you have not secured planning permission, your project will be issued with a connection assessment (connection method and cost) and you will have a two year opportunity from the date of assessment issuance to gain planning permission.