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Minutes of the Renewable Energy Generation Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 7 July 2016 at 6.35 pm


South Ward:

Councillor D Brenton
Councillor J Day (Chairman)
Councillor B Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor J McKenzie

Community Energy Group:

James Craigie


Mr R D G Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr D Greensmith, Minus7
Miss C Kilbey, Andigestion
Mr P Rogers, 361 Energy CIC
6 x Public


Councillor Day was proposed by Councillor Brenton and seconded by Councillor McKenzie.

RESOLVED: That Councillor Day is appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)

(Councillor Day assumed the Chair and thanked the Members for their vote.)


Councillor McKenzie was proposed by Councillor Brenton and seconded by Councillor Wootton.

RESOLVED: That Councillor McKenzie is appointed as Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)


Councillors S Robinson (East Ward – personal) and P Christie (North Ward – personal).


There were no declarations of interest.


There was no participation from the public.


Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Standing Orders are suspended in order to allow Members of the Public to address the Meeting.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 April 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)


a.    The Chairman welcomed Mr David Greensmith to the meeting.

b.    Mr Greensmith introduced himself as the Business Development Manager for Minus7, based in Exeter but covering the South West region from Bristol to Penzance. He spoke of his experience in the social housing area and background that includes working for the Department of the Environment and OFGEN. He advised that the Government target for renewable heating by 2020 is 15% highlighting the challenge faced, given that it currently stands at 7%.

His presentation covered the technology that Minus7 offers, the benefits to Councils and Housing Associations, Home owners and developers and information on future energy provision.

The Minus7 operation is a three part system that involves the roof, solar energy processor and thermal stores. It is a building-integrated solution providing clean, secure and “affordable” heating and hot water. Energy is harvested efficiently (at temperatures as low as -7oC) twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year, in all weathers. The Solar Energy Process moves energy from the roof to the thermal stores, which work as energy sources for the heating and hot water needs of the building.

Mr Greensmith spoke about the future importance of the Energy Performance of a building. Social housing generally runs at 70%, the Minus7 system is designed for new builds and also “retrofits” which can improve energy performance in excess of 95%. The year 2050 sees the UK committed to reducing emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels. He added that by 2050 there will be three energy sources: nuclear, gas (commercial, not domestic appliances) and renewables. From 2020 he predicted a weighting on Council Tax bills penalising inefficient properties, on a scale not dissimilar to the current annual car licensing model.

In promoting the efficiency, minimal operating and maintenance costs advantages in general and specifically to social housing landlords and developers he showed how the benefits can be passed onto the tenants and society. A chilling statistic revealed 9,000 people died as a result of living in a cold home in 2015. Further, fuel poverty is costing the NHS an estimated £1.3 billion.

Mr Greensmith encouraged the Council to endorse the technology.

c.    The Chairman thanked Mr Greensmith for addressing the Meeting.

(Councillor Brenton left the Meeting.)


a.     The Chairman welcomed Miss Carly Kilbey, Business Development Manager for Andigestion, to the meeting.

b.     Miss Kilbey briefly spoke on the history of the Holsworthy plant that moved from the original farmer run slurry waste processor to the current 100% food waste operation that creates energy.

The thrust of her presentation promoted the Holsworthy anaerobic digestion process of treating waste as significantly cheaper than sending it to a landfill site (third of the cost). She advised that the plants can take:

• Packaged food waste.
• Process effluent.
• “Clean” process waste.
• Solid food waste.
• Food sludge.
• Small waste batches (local pubs or food producers).
• Large waste batches (industrial food manufacturers).

She also spoke of collection / transportation of waste and the desire to keep food miles as low as possible. Andigestion has introduced a Wheelie Bin service that covers Bude, Okehampton and Launceston (Bideford soon). It is an exchange (of bin) service with restaurants, schools and hospitals that does not require them to be lined or cleaned by the customer.

The Waste, once collected, is processed and provides gas, electricity and liquid fertiliser (any packaging is recycled).

The gas is either converted for the gas grid or into electricity and heat by feeding it to combined heat and power internal combustion engines. Some of the electricity produced is used to power the plant, whilst the rest is exported to the National grid.

Miss Kilbey finished on an Education initiative that aims to show schoolchildren what happens to food waste and the processes.

c.     The Chairman invited Members to raise questions and comments that included:

• Encouragement of the Pannier Market Café / delicatessen to consider the Wheelie Bin Service.
• Contact local schools and provide recommendation.
• Miss Kilbey confirmed that it was not Waste Management but Energy Transference – they do not pay for the waste, but remain competitive to collection.
• What is the Plant capacity?
o 90,000 tons, annually.
• Miss Kilbey noted:
o In Europe crops are grown on fertile land specifically for the process.
o Supermarkets are often tied to a national collection as opposed to a regional operation.
o Fish waste is also taken from Penzance to Grimsby.
o That refuse derived fuels are driving away from landfill.

d.      The Chairman thanked Miss Kilbey for addressing the Meeting.
e.      Reflecting on the two presentations the Chairman recommended, with the unanimous support of the Committee, a show of the Council’s commitment to renewable and sustainable energy sources through:

• A letter should be sent to Westward Housing in the light of fuel poverty inviting them to consider the opportunities that the endothermic heat process offers and review the heating systems in the Town.
• That the Planning Committee of the Council seeks to champion the use of renewable and sustainable energy sources when considering planning applications for new buildings and developments.
• That the Market Management Committee informs those working with food to reconsider their food waste policies / agreements.
• A letter to local schools informing them of the Presentations.


Paul Rogers confirmed that the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) Grant application was at the point of submission noting that the Urban Energy Community Fund had recently closed.

The Members discussed the proposed Partnership Document underpinning the relationship between the Council and 361 Energy CIC:

1.     Bideford Town Council has a Renewable Energy Committee found in August 2015 which has expressed strong interest in pursuing a Community Solar Energy Project.
2.     361 Energy CIC are a North Devon based not-for-profit company whose aims are to promote energy saving and renewable energy in the local area.
3.     As an organisation with experience in the Community Energy sector, 361 Energy CIC have been in contact with Bideford Town Council. They have presented to the Renewable Energy Committee and provided pro-bono assistance to the Chairman in seeking the funding streams required to launch a Community Solar Project.
4. To provide a feasibility study for such a Community Solar Energy Project an application to the Rural Community Energy Fund will be/has been made. The Town Council will receive and hold these monies from the Waste and Resources
Action Programme (WRAP).
5.      The preferred / agreed contractors(s) will invoice Bideford Town Council as the work is done and providing updates. In addition, other contractors may provide parts of the feasibility study and draw monies when appropriate.
6.      The final feasibility study produced by the contractors will be shared exclusively with the following parties: WRAP, Bideford Town Council and individual sections with the relevant site owners.
7.      Bideford Town Council and 361 Energy CIC both share the aims and values of promoting sustainability in the local area. Given this, collaboration may occur on future initiatives and events such as their work in reducing fuel poverty and energy fairs, with the Council providing endorsement and publicity for these on a case by case basis.

Proposed by Councillor J Day, seconded and

Recommended: That the proposed Bideford Town Council and 361 Energy CIC partnership document is adopted.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0)


The Chairman advised that he had spoken to a representative of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network and arranged a visit for Saturday, 30 July 2016 at 11.30 am. The Solar Farm and Water Treatment Plant would be on the itinerary.

He invited Committee Members to attend and offered the opportunity to the Bideford Sustainability Group.

The Deputy Town Clerk advised that the Committee Members attending would be entitled to mileage / subsistence claims only when authorised by the Council, noting that the next Meeting of the Council would be held on 4 August 2016, after the visit. He would E Mail the Council to establish if any other councillors should like to attend and request a return on their support for mileage claims. He advised that Members should look to the most cost effective method of travel, including car share – dependent upon the interest / take up.


Proposed by Councillor J Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Meeting return to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)

The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 8.21 pm.

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