How it would work?


GA will provide 5% of the electrical energy produced by the Asland Walks Energy Park to Bretherton residents at no cost. In future, the plan is to provide Bretherton households with reduced-cost electricity via a community-owned battery and local supply arrangement.

Sale of the 5% of Electrical Energy

If the 5% was sold to an energy supplier at market rates, a current energy prices it would be equal to over £300,000 per year. The price is likely to come down over time if and when energy prices return to more normal levels, but it is likely to remain over £100,000 per year.

Bretherton Residents would set up a community enterprise (a charity or community interest company) to receive and manage income. The community enterprise would use the income to help reduce energy for the residents (for example):

  • Providing advice, support and grants and zero/low-interest loans to help local households make their homes more energy efficient.
  • Subsidising energy bills for low-income households.
  • Providing funding for the community low carbon infrastructure such as electric vehicle charging points.

The ownership of 5% electrical energy will not require any capital investment by the community. The potential to sell that share of the power could help fund the development costs for the community battery if and when the local supply model becomes viable.

Local Supply

GA is working with local electricity supply specialists Energy Local to develop a way of providing Bretherton households with reduced cost electricity via a community owned battery. The local supply model would work as follows.
  • GA would finance, build and own the proposed Asland Walk 4.2mW wind turbine and 27mW solar field. Financing and work would be completed in stages, depending on planning permission being granted and the finance being available.
  • GA will fund the cost of the cable from Asland Walk to the community battery. The community enterprise would need to raise capital to fund the cost of the battery, which is estimated at £2.9 million,
  • Bretherton residents would set up a not-for-profit community enterprise to finance, build and own the community battery and run the Bretherton Energy Local Club.
  • To benefit from the discounted electricity residents would need to join the Bretherton Energy Local Club and install a smart meter, which shows when and how much energy they are using. They would also need to be supplied by the same sub-station to which the community battery is connected.
  • GA would provide for free the first 5% of the renewable electricity generated from the Asland Energy Park wind turbine and solar field to the Bretherton Energy Local Club community battery. Electricity would be supplied via a ‘private wire’ which connects the Asland Energy Park via GA to the community battery.
  • The Bretherton Energy Local Club would supply wind and solar electricity to club members at a cost significantly lower (e.g 30% less) than market rates. The electricity sales revenue would be used to cover the running costs of the Energy Local Club and the maintenance and finance costs of the battery
  • Bretherton residents would be able to monitor the online club portal to see when wind and solar power is available. This would allow residents to change their usage and match their consumption to when the solar field and wind turbine is generating and benefit from the local club rate, – for example, turning on the dryer, charging their electric car and running a heat pump. Once the proposed 4.2mW wind turbine and 27mW solar field is installed, 5% of their predicted output could meet Bretherton’s current electricity needs over 90% of the time. If only the solar field is installed at first, the benefits would be less in the winter.
  • A partner energy supplier (such as GEUK or Octopus) is needed to facilitate the Energy Local Club. The partner supplier matches club members’ consumption with the Asland Walks Energy Park wind and solar generation on a half-hourly basis. When they match, customers are billed at the reduced ‘club rate. When the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining the supplier provides ‘top-up’ power at market rates. The supplier sends each household a single bill for the total power used.
  • Any surplus generation will be sold to GA or the electricity grid to generate income to support local community projects.

The project is still at early stages and some key details which could affect the commercial and technical viability of the Bretherton Energy Local Club are yet to be established. The club is dependent on being able to install the community battery. If the battery cannot be connected to the local electricity grid, or is not commercially viable, the Club will not be able to operate and supply reduced cost electricity to Bretherton residents.

In this case, the 5% of the electricity produced by the Asland Walks wind turbine and solar field array will be sold and the money would be received by the Bretherton community enterprise.

Energy Local

Energy Local are the vital part of the partnership that enables residents of Bretherton to use and benefit from what is effectively their own individual solar and wind generation facility that powers their home, without actually purchasing or maintaining the equipment.

Energy Local’s mission is to help communities get more value from renewable generation by using the electricity locally. Energy Local has designed a means for local people to benefit from local energy generation initiatives through Energy Local Clubs, with currently 20 clubs across the UK operational. Energy Local have 10 operational with about 10 more at various stages of development.

Further information on Energy Local and their current operational schemes around the country can be seen at along with a host of more helpful videos or by clicking here.


Bretherton will need to set up a community enterprise to manage the revenue share arrangement and Energy Local Club in the future and distribute surplus income to local community projects. The enterprise will need to raise the capital to fund the battery through a community share offer or commercial investment.

The enterprise will be a not-for-profit organisation with an asset lock which restricts how surpluses are distributed and ensures they are applied to benefit the community of Bretherton rather than for private gain. It will be governed by a board of local volunteer directors. Bretherton residents will be eligible for £1 voting shares and membership decisions will be made on a ‘1 member 1 vote’ basis. It will be administered under a service contract with a community energy manager or by a local administrator.

The purpose of the community enterprise would be to supply Bretherton residents, businesses and community organisations with low cost, low carbon power and to generate surplus income to support community projects in the parish, with a focus on supporting the community and individual households to transition to net zero.

Next Steps

GA is continuing to assess the Environmental Impacts of the proposed scheme. Full details of all final reports, and a Bi-monthly Update are available under the “Resources” Tab on this website.

A community survey carried out by Bretherton Parish Council during Winter 20233/2023 showed broad support for the Project. The survey results are published on the resources tab page. The FAQs have been updated to address the key queries and concerns of local residents that were highlighted by the survey.

As the proposed Asland Walks Energy Park Scheme, forms a fundamental part of the Neighbourhood Plan. The whole proposal, in addition, will be included within the draft plan, for consideration, and scrutiny by Bretherton residents.