Solar Energy Community Benefit Policy

What is the Solar Energy Community Benefit Policy

North Kesteven District Council adopted its Large-Scale Solar Energy Community Benefits policy in January 2024. The policy is intended to assist North Kesteven District Council in negotiating a Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) related to large-scale solar energy developments in the District. The policy also includes provisions for community benefit from other energy supply related development including on-site and off-site battery storage as well as new substations. For the purposes of the policy, a large-scale solar energy development is defined as one that exports at least 5MW a year of electricity to the national grid. The policy is therefore applicable to qualifying proposals submitted to the District Council for determination under the Town and Country Planning Act (1990), as well as to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects determined by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero under the Planning Act (2008).

The policy sits within the group of policy, action and guidance documents in respect of the Council’s Climate Emergency response and since the funds for CBAs would be derived from renewable energy, and given the Council’s commitment to climate change and delivering net zero, the proposal is for CBA funds to support the community local to the project as well as to provide financial support to deliver the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan agenda. The management and distribution of CBA funds is anticipated to be led by a Special Purpose Vehicle, Community Investment Company or other community foundation, with the broad range of projects benefitting from CBA funding potentially including:

  • Supporting community renewable energy schemes
  • Providing grant funding support for moving households off fossil fuels (potentially alongside other Government retrofit funds)
  • Assisting SMEs with support for decarbonisation initiatives
  • Providing support to relevant education, training and apprenticeships
  • Helping to support active travel schemes
  • Assisting the delivery of local biodiversity initiatives
  • Investing in projects and engagement with schools to embed net zero
  • Seeking out and engaging with exemplar projects
  • Providing opportunities for off-site renewable energy infrastructure offsetting (linked to the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan) 
  • Supporting sensitive energy efficiency measures in historic buildings

The policy document will be kept under review and updated as required as a result of practice and use or legislative change, with a review undertaken at least every 5 years from first adoption.

The policy can be viewed and downloaded from the downloads section on this webpage. For further information, please email our planning team at