In 2008, the UK government sponsored National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts NESTA, launched The Big Green Challenge. This offered a £1 million prize fund for communities across the UK to develop a plan to reduce carbon emissions. The Green Valleys CiC was created by members coming together to drive our plans forward to win the Big Green Challenge. The communities shared concerns for the future of our communities facing spiraling energy costs and the impacts of climate change.
In 2010 we were confirmed as one of three joint winners of the Big Green Challenge and were awarded £300 000 to take our ideas forward.
Our plans are based on the belief that carbon reduction was an opportunity for economic renewal within our communities, not an expense. We also believed that we could sustainably harness the natural resources of our landscape and the energy, imagination and commitment of the people that live within it.
We used some of our Big Green Challenge prize money to set up a subsidiary company, TGVHydro Ltd. This company operates commercially to design, gain permissions for and install hydro turbines for both private individual and community schemes. Profits generated by TGVHydro are returned to the Community Interest Company, to be reinvested in further community projects that further our aims.