Eastbourne Energy and Food.
Eastbourne Borough Council | Published October 30, 2015
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Eastbourne Borough Council wants to respond to the energy sector's trilemma of increasing prices, future shortage of supply, and the need to reduce carbon emissions. The Council also wants to be prepared for the challenges and uncertainty the food chain will face when major global food regions are under threat from extreme weather patterns.
The transformation will see new infrastructure and structures being developed and commercial opportunities in a number of sectors, summarised below:
— Energy generation — Investment in a town-wide network of energy hubs, some utilising the areas assets natural assets, making Eastbourne an energy ‘island’;
— Energy supply — Potential to supply large sections of town with Council backed supply licence;
— Building energy efficiency — Industrial scale retrofit of properties in area (domestic and non-domestic);
— Energy demand and distribution — Develop a true, real time smart grid that can balance load and peoples lifestyles, and reduce reinforcement costs;
— Energy R&D — Bring commercial reality to new technologies that can deliver cleaner cheaper energy e.g. biogas replacing natural gas
— Cleaner transport — Investment in infrastructure to supply the range of motorised vehicles (including HGVs) with cleaner fuels i.e. Electricity and hydrogen;
— Fresh food production — Investment in a town-wide network of next generation commercial greenhouses (e.g. hydroponic), linked with energy generation;
— Fresh fish or protein production — Investment in a town-wide network of sustainable fish or protein farms, linked with energy generation.
To deliver this transformation will require a step change in investment and the set up of a joint venture (JV) as a trading arm of the Council. It is envisaged that once the JV is set up then it will seek out the commercial opportunities and make the transformation happen. It is also envisaged that it will be able to function with little or no Government subsidy.
The JV could also benefit from the Council's close partnership with Lewes District Council as this would increase the number of potential customers and the Lewes area has more land available to develop energy generation sites.
The Council is anticipating that the arrangements could be in place from April 2017 and that the arrangement would be for at least in the region of 20 years. Some elements of the projects could cover a longer period and others may have a shorter life span. The overall estimated value of the arrangements is considered likely to exceed 500 000 000 GBP over a 20 year period.
The Council recognises that the joint venture arrangements may not be an exclusive arrangement between the Council and 1 other organisation, there may need to be more than one organisation for the wide ranging delivery that is expected.
To start the transformation process the Council wishes to undertake preliminary market consultations with potential commercial partners — to gain their input and expertise into the developing the competitive process to select partner's proposals, and to help identify:
— what commercial solutions the market is open to;
— what the constraints there are;
— if there are new models of delivery;
— what the levels of investment and commercial arrangements might be.
The Council intends to structure this consultation in two parts (i) Market Questionnaire (ii) Focussed Discussions with a small number of representatives who return a questionnaire.
The proposed timetable is as follows:
— Deadline for return of Market Questionnaire: 3.12.2015;
— Invitations to Focussed Discussions: 11.12.2015;
— Focussed One to One Discussions: 11-13.1.2016;
— Anticipated commencement of procurement: 20.4.2016.
Further details on the project, the preliminary market consultation process and how to obtain and return a copy of the market questionnaire are set out