Agenda item

Coventry Strategic Energy Partnership


Further to Minute 25 of the Cabinet, the City Council considered a joint report of the Director of Business, Investment and Culture and the Director of Transportation, Highways and Sustainability, that detailed proposals for a Coventry Strategic Energy Partnership.


A corresponding private report detailing confidential financial matters was also submitted for consideration (Minute 59 below refers).


One of the Council’s top three priorities for the city in the One Coventry Plan was ‘Tackling the causes and consequences of Climate Change’. The Council’s Draft Climate change Strategy and accompanying Net Zero Routemap, published earlier this year, set out ambitious vision for the city’s journey to net zero to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for local people. To achieve this, major long-term planning and investment was required to decarbonise our city though a wide range of environmental and social projects.


The Council had a critical role to play as a leader, asset owner and source of local knowledge, but didn’t have sufficient capital, resource, or expertise to deliver net zero in isolation. Therefore, an industry Strategic Energy Partner (SEP) was to be procured to work with the Council to initiate, develop and deliver an extensive programme of projects that would generate significant environmental, social and economic benefits to the city and help deliver its net zero goal.


The report indicated that this partnering would bring up to £2 billion investment to Coventry which would deliver huge benefits for the city’s communities and businesses.


The fifteen year strategic partnership would see the Council working with the industry partner to initiate, develop and deliver innovative strategies, business models and plans that would drive the city towards net zero. The use of five year strategic plans complemented by annual specific action and budget business plans would ensure alignment and pace of decarbonisation progress.


The strategic partner was expected to have both internal resources and access to capital investment but also the experience and capabilities to leverage third party funding to support projects. The successful strategic energy partner would be obligated to develop five anchor projects and progress the development of at least three further decarbonisation projects each year for the fifteen years.


Procurement was due to conclude in august 2023 with contracts entered in September 2023. Coventry would be only the second city in the UK to secure a SEP and the opportunities it would offer were significant, with up to £2 billion investment and delivery of key anchor projects such as a 30MW solar farm, solar energy into schools, decarbonisation of our fleet, depots and estate and provision of energy security across the city to make the city more resilient. This ambitious partnership would further cement Coventry’s aspirations to lead the UK’s green industrial revolution.


Creation of social value was a key aspect of the partnership, demonstrating best practice within projects, and also broadening the scope of social value beyond the partnership was a critical success factor. The partnership was designed and contracted to incentivise such positive outcomes in our community with allocation of both resource and funding from the partners and the Council.


To facilitate the SEP, the Council were required to provide 2.5 full time equivalent posts (FTEs) to manage the SEP for the duration of the partnership. The 2.5 FTEs would be funded from existing budgets and resources. The SEP team would be co-located with the industry partner, with a requirement for the Council to provide 4 desks within Council offices for the team.


RESOLVED that the City Council acknowledges and notes the decisions of Cabinet to:


1.  Award the Strategic Energy Partner contract to the Preferred Bidder (as detailed in the corresponding Private Report) for the delivery of the Strategic Energy Partner Project.


2.  Delegate authority to the Director of Business, Investment and Culture and the Director of Transport, Highways and Sustainability, following consultation with the Chief Operating Officer (Section 151 Officer), the Chief Legal Officer, the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change and the Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, to undertake the necessary due diligence, finalise and complete the process of entering into the contract with the Preferred Bidder.


3.  Note the role of the Coventry Shareholder Committee in the governance arrangement associated with the delivery of the Strategic Energy Partner project as set out in paragraph 1.8 of the report.








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