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(1)It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to take such steps as he considers appropriate to promote community energy projects.
(2)In the exercise of his duty under subsection (1), the Secretary of State shall have regard to the desirability of promoting—
(a)schemes whose purpose or effect is the promotion of community energy projects,
(b)investment by others in such schemes and community energy projects, and
(c)the provision of advice and assistance (whether by public authorities or any other persons) to persons establishing and operating, or proposing to establish and operate, community energy projects.
(3)In this section—
“community energy project” means—
the use of relevant plant for a community purpose,
the installation of relevant plant for use for a community purpose, or
the adaptation of any plant for use as relevant plant for a community purpose;
“community purpose” means the purpose of—
generating electricity for consumption wholly or mainly in qualifying premises, or
producing heat for use wholly or mainly for heating qualifying premises;
“plant” includes any equipment, apparatus or appliance;
“premises” means any building or buildings (and for this purpose “building” includes part of a building);
“qualifying premises” means premises which—
are used wholly or mainly for purposes other than carrying on a trade, business or profession, and
in the case of premises which consist wholly or mainly of a dwelling or dwellings, contain at least five dwellings;
“relevant plant” means any plant which—
in generating electricity or (as the case may be) producing heat, relies wholly or mainly on a source of energy or a technology mentioned in section 82(7) of the Energy Act 2004 (c. 20) (microgeneration), and
satisfies the condition in subsection (4).
(4)Plant satisfies the condition in this subsection if its capacity does not exceed—
(a)in the case of plant for the generation of electricity, 20 megawatts, and
(b)in the case of plant for the production of heat, 100 megawatts thermal.
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