Bristol City Council’s Cabinet last night backed a move to proceed with finding strategic partners with whom to work on the city’s future energy projects as part of the £1bn City Leap initiative.
The decision is a major step forward for the project to strategically develop, co-ordinate, deliver and facilitate a smart, interconnected energy system for Bristol, which was initially launched in May of last year.
The prospectus of partnership and investment opportunities attracted interest from over 180 local, national and international organisations, including tech firms, investors, community organisations and innovative energy and infrastructure developers.
Following a six-month options appraisal, Cabinet was asked to decide around building a strategic partnership with the private sector to support the city’s carbon neutrality ambitions.
The City Leap initiative includes a range of projects including low-carbon heat networks, renewable energy from wind, solar and marine sources, as well energy efficiency, electric vehicles and smart energy systems using the latest technology.
The council’s wholly-owned energy supply company, Bristol Energy will have a key role to play in bringing all of these projects together and enabling the transition to a smart energy system by harnessing its energy supply expertise and smart energy innovation capabilities to put the company on a sustainable footing for the future.
Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Energy and Transport, said “City Leap is an immensely exciting project that has been years in the making and builds on the strong leadership that we’ve shown towards energy and climate change over the years.
“The project is a unique opportunity to leverage the assets within the city to deliver clean, affordable energy to its people, communities and businesses. It will make it possible for Bristolians to take ownership of their energy system, using it to build better lives for themselves and the next generation.
“This is a council first and we’re very proud of the innovative approach towards public, community and business partnership that we’ve developed, which is something that central government and other local authorities are watching with keen interest. The council has made incredible progress, cutting its own carbon emissions by 71% since 2005 and we’re in a strong position to support the rest of the city to take action.
Councillor Craig Cheney, Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance & Performance said: “The council is aware that there is a real and pressing need for our city to increase the pace of delivery and strategically co-ordinate the projects that will deliver the deep carbon reductions that we need.
“This, coupled with shrinking public budgets, means that we need to find new, innovative and inclusive ways of delivering and funding the city-scale low-carbon infrastructure that will be required to deliver on our ambitions.
“The scale of opportunities and the city-wide action needed to support cannot be achieved without the support, input and consent of the residents and business community of Bristol.”
More information is available in our City Leap section.