24 January 2018

Explainer: RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme - funding energy storage

We’ve put together the following easy guide to the Countryside Productivity Scheme and how farmers can use it to help fund energy storage projects.

The RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme provides funding for projects in England which help improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors; its aim is to create jobs and growth in the rural economy.

In light of these, we’ve put together the following easy guide to the Countryside Productivity Scheme and how farmers can use it to help fund energy storage projects, such as the installation of our award-winning storage technology E-STOR.

Who is it administered by?

It is administered by the Rural Payment Agency (RPA); the grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). RPA’s role is to assess applications for grants and make offers for grant funding on behalf of Defra.

What happens after Brexit?

Post-Brexit, the government has guaranteed funding for RDPE CPA grants if these are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU; even if the grant agreements continue after the UK has left the EU. This is subject to projects meeting the following conditions when the application is assessed: they are good value for money and they are in line with domestic strategic priorities.

What sorts of projects are eligible for grants?

There are a number of eligible projects including water resource management, but the most relevant for our customers is the grant for improving farm productivity.

Who can apply for the grants for improving farm productivity?

Farmers: including livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors.

Who can’t apply?

The following are not eligible for grants: agricultural and horticultural contracting businesses; non-departmental public bodies including local authorities; Crown bodies or member of Producer Organisations.

What are the grants for?

These grants are to improve farm productivity through, amongst other things:

Increasing the use of renewable energy products on farm by improving energy storage and distribution. The electrical storage capacity may not exceed the lowest of:

  • the amount of energy produced in a 24 hour cycle,
  • the amount of energy used within the business in a 24 hour period,
  • total power output of battery storage system must not exceed 1 MW.

  • Grant funding can help pay for buying and installing machinery and equipment.

    What can’t the grants be used for?

    The grants can’t be used to generate renewable energy or to fund anaerobic digesters.

    How much money can you apply for?

    The grants are for a minimum of £35,000 and can cover up to 40% of the eligible costs of a project. If the minimum grant is £25,000, the minimum total eligible cost of a project would therefore by £87,500. The maximum grant per project is normally £1,000,000. Grants are paid in stages, in arrears and can only be claimed after the work being claimed for is finished and has been paid for.

    What is the deadline for these grants?

    The RPA will agree a target end date with all successful applicants. The final date by which all projects must be finished, paid for and complete grant claims submitted, is 31 December 2020.

    Are there any other restrictions?

    The RPA expects claimants to make a maximum of three claims over the course of the project. Claimants must show they have sufficient funds to pay for the project costs before the grant payments are paid.

    Claimants must not start work, incur costs (including paying deposits) or place an order before the grant agreement has been signed as this may make the project ineligible. Claimants can only apply for one RDPE grant for each individual project.

    For further detail on how Connected Energy can help advise on storage strategies contact us on 0191 495 7322 or contact info@c-e-int.com

    For further information on funding, costs and how to apply for a grant, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...