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Decarbonising our city region and delivering social value and inclusive growth

Progress is being made towards the renewable energy generation targets in the 5-Year Environment Plan for Greater Manchester.

However, Greater Manchester needs to rapidly scale up delivery to achieve carbon neutral by 2038 and stimulate local economic recovery following Covid-19.

Go Neutral is a GMCA-led Smart Energy initiative to decarbonise our city region and deliver social value, community wealth-building and inclusive growth.

For Greater Manchester, Smart Energy is about:

  • Taking control of how we generate, use, and trade our energy locally to create a resilient and connected energy system.
  • Creating greener, healthier, and more affordable lifestyles.
  • Creating investment opportunities that will support new jobs and skills on our pathway to carbon neutral by 2038.
A small bird stands on a fence in a park

Phase 1 of Go Neutral is currently underway. We are delivering a pipeline of 20MW of new renewable energy generation and battery storage across all of Greater Manchester's districts by 2023.This is supporting circa 575 jobs through feasibility, design and delivery.

We are now moving into Phase 2, which is to rapidly scale impact and accelerate delivery. We want to make the most of underused public sector owned assets by making them available for smart energy deployment opportunities.

GMCA, working with our ten districts, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Environment Agency have sites shortlisted for potential development opportunities based on their geospatial characteristics and local intelligence.

768 (and counting) underutilised sites have been shortlisted by partners for potential integrated smart energy solutions.

To help streamline the procurement and delivery of these opportunities, we are currently putting in place a GMCA-led smart energy call-off framework.

It will allow users to contract with providers to make carbon savings and/ or cost savings through implementing 'smart energy interventions' to their buildings, car parks and land assets via a range of investment and delivery models.

The framework will be accessible to all UK public sector organisations.

For Greater Manchester, the initial phase (first three years) will seek to identify, develop, and deliver at least 85MW of power generation and potential supporting battery storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure across 430 assets owned by 13 public sector partners.

This might provide circa:

  • 25 MWp of building integrated solar PV with supporting battery storage
  • 10 MWp of solar car ports with supporting battery storage
  • 50 MWp of ground mounted solar PV (private wire and grid connected)
  • Plus additional potential battery storage, wind generation, EV forecourts and charging hubs
Solar panels in a solar farm in Salford