Greater Manchester Combined Authority's story
Greater Manchester is making progress towards the renewable energy generation targets in its 5-Year Environment Plan. However, our city region needs to rapidly scale up delivery to achieve carbon neutral by 2038, and also to stimulate local economic recovery following Covid-19.
So for Greater Manchester, Smart Energy is about taking control of how we generate, use and trade our energy locally, to create a resilient and connected energy system. It’s also about creating greener, healthier, and more affordable lifestyles. And it’s about creating investment opportunities that will support new jobs and skills on our pathway to carbon neutral by 2038.
Phase 1 of Go Neutral has been underway since 2022. We will have delivered 20MW of new renewable energy generation and battery storage across all of GM's districts by 2023. This is supporting about 575 jobs through feasibility, design and delivery.
We are now moving into Phase 2, in which we will rapidly scale up delivery and impact. One big opportunity is to make better use of public sector-owned assets (buildings, land and car parks) by making them available for smart energy opportunities. We are working with our ten districts, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Environment Agency to shortlist suitable sites. So far, we have already identified approaching eight hundred.
To help streamline the procurement and delivery of these opportunities, we have put in place a GMCA-led smart energy ‘call-off framework’, to run between January 2022 and January 2025, worth up to £300 million. This rigorously-managed framework allows users to contract with providers to make carbon savings and/or cost savings through implementing 'smart energy interventions' to their buildings, car parks and land assets via a range of investment and delivery models. We have now made this innovative framework accessible to all public sector organisations across the UK.
For GM, the initial phase (the first three years) will seek to identify, develop, and deliver at least 85MW of power generation and potential supporting battery storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure across 430 assets owned by 13 public sector partners. This is divided approximately as follows:
- 25 MWp of building-integrated solar PV with supporting battery storage.
- 10 MWp of solar car ports with supporting battery storage.
- 50 MWp of ground-mounted solar PV (connected to private users or the national grid).
- Additional potential battery storage, wind generation, EV forecourts and charging hubs.
Useful learnings from Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Collaboration with our partner organisations has been vital for success. GMCA is working with our ten district councils, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Environment Agency to shortlist sites for potential development.
From the outset, we have included social benefits such as new jobs, healthier lifestyles and more affordable energy for everyone as important objectives for Go Neutral.
Enable others by sharing your learning and insights: we have made our ground-breaking smart energy call-off framework accessible to all UK public sector organisations.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority's metrics
Number of delivered smart energy schemes.
Installed capacity of delivered renewable energy generation (MW).
kWh of energy produced with renewables.
kWh of increased flexibility of electricity supply.
Tonnes of carbon saved.
Number of new jobs and apprenticeships created in GM.
Number of local businesses engaged in delivering smart energy opportunities.