Local authorities dealing with top-down energy communty projects: experiences from Milan

In Milan, the Municipality, driven by the commitment to fighting climate change as a top priority, has become a driver of the energy community projects.

In this context, the city municipal buildings and their retrofit therefore represent a fundamental asset to be used in the best possible way to facilitate the achievement of climate neutrality. However, exploiting this truly relevant potential is not easy.

Despite this significant challenge, the Municipality has decided to explore the potential of energy communities by setting up an internal working group, composed of around 14 people, transversal to different Directorates, in order to exchange knowledge and make easier the tackling of a new issue.

The setup of this transversal working group has made possible the support and the growing up of a capacity building effort among the staff involved. It was also able to keep at the centre of its development not only the technological innovation related aspects, but also the social ones. The transversal group has chosen also to follow closely the Chiaravalle energy community project (pilot site of the NRG2peers project) in order to make it a paradigm of the future development of the municipal Renewable Energy Communities.

A transversal approach, adopted by the working group, with expertise in legal, energy, public construction, urban planning, public participation, has proven to be extremely useful because it was able to facilitate the transmission of knowledge and of the different perspectives among the group members, overcoming the usual silos approach.