ERA: The Trent Basin Community Energy Project

A model for sustainable community energy

A branch of the Midlands Innovation partnership, the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) is the largest energy research network in the UK. ERA is actively involved in developing energy policy and supporting wider energy initiatives in the Midlands, including the Trent Basin Community Energy Project. 

The Trent Basin Community Energy Project is a groundbreaking scheme that aims to demonstrate how it is possible to provide a practical solution which can minimise the use of fossil fuel generated energy, lower energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.  

This unique project, the first of its kind in the UK, has the potential to make a huge impact on the country’s energy sector for decades to come, by providing a working model for how renewable energy can be generated and used in local communities. 


A significant part of this innovation is enabled by Innovate UK funding and the Energy Research Accelerator ERA. It brings together companies involved in the energy supply chain with key industry players, academics and the potential buyers of around 120 homes on site. 

Residents opting into the scheme have photovoltaic panels installed on their roofs and are provided with smart meters and voice-controlled speakers for access to live data on energy generated and consumed. An urban solar panel farm has been installed on the areas of the site yet to be developed, and, as houses are built, these panels will be transferred to each home. The energy generated is then stored in Europe’s largest community energy battery (supplied by Tesla) with excess output sold to the National Grid.  


  • Trent Basin currently comprises 76 low-energy homes, with a further 100 being built in phase 2.  
  • So far, the scheme is estimated to have saved the equivalent of 34 tonnes of CO2 per year. 
  • 83% of the Trent Basin residents would recommend the installation of energy storage equipment in their homes to other members of their community. 
  • The data gathered from the project will enable the energy system to be optimised and made ready for widespread deployment in other community energy schemes. 
  • Trent Basin is now attracting national and international interest in the concept of Local Community Energy, and Nottingham is showing its results to global businesses.  



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