Bristol City Council has decided to go ahead with its ambitious ‘City Leap’ programme and will be procuring a strategic partner to deliver the project in a joint venture. A council meeting on 2 April agreed seed funding for the energy projects and funds to procure the joint venture partner.

City Leap was launched in May last year with a prospectus featuring up to £1 billion of partnership and investment opportunities (see below). The aim is to attract new energy investment into the city, a strategy which includes domestic energy efficiency improvements and power generation. The  city intends to be carbon neutral by 2050. It attracted interest from over 180 local, national and international organisations, including tech firms, investors, community organisations and innovative energy and infrastructure developers.

After assessing different options the city recommended that the council  procure a Strategic Partner to form a joint venture (City LeapEnergy Partnership) with Bristol Energy and the council’s Energy Service (BCCES) playing an integral role.

It concluded that Bristol Energy and BCCES have significant capability across the whole project value chain. Bristol Energy can cover the full range of services around supply, trading, and monetisation of flexibility in-house, the city concluded. It has developed innovative propositions such as heat-as-a-service and battery storage, and is developing a local energy market design under its BESST (Bristol Energy Smart System Transformation) project. Meanwhile, BCCES has a  track record of successful delivery of low carbon infrastructure, has a pipeline of in-flight projects such as heat networks, and is also delivering a number of innovation projects.

As well as the energy opportunities (listed below) the partnership may include two major development opportunities: the city’s Temple and Western Docks areas.

Potential investment opportunity

Estimated investment opportunity over ten years

Heat networks


Smart energy system


Domestic energy efficiency


Commercial energy efficiency


Renewable energy


Monitoring, dissemination and evaluation






Marine energy