FAQ

ELEGIBILITY CHECK

What is the exact geographical coverage of NESOI?

NESOI addresses all inhabited islands belonging to any European Member State or to the United Kingdom. The islands outside the European Union or the United Kingdom are not eligible to NESOI services.
ELIGIBLE: The Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
NON ELIGIBLE: the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the Member States: Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Greenland, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten), New Caledonia and Dependencies, Pitcairn, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wallis and Futuna Islands.
NON ELIGIBLE: the associated countries (AC)

 

Which projects are taken into account? What is their size? What are the specifications?

Projects of all kinds, contributing to islands’ decarbonisation, are concerned, namely renewables, energy efficiency (buildings, industry, public lighting...), energy storage, smart grids, etc.

 

Are islands interconnected to the mainland considered?

Both types of islands (interconnected or not) are considered.

 

Could eligible partner also be a kind of association of islands?

Beneficiaries should be project promoters – if the association is in this role, it’s fine. In this respect, archipelagos will be eligible.

 

From the eligibility tool we seem to get a lot of green lights! Quick question on the ratio of investment - what is the lowest acceptable ratio? Would a 2 to 1 ratio be acceptable? Our budget would range from €50k to €120k

From eligibility perspective, there is no threshold in terms of leverage factor (the ratio between the investment and the required NESOI support). Nonetheless, NESOI acknowledges that projects being characterized by an indicative leverage of 20x would allow addressing appropriately project objectives. The leverage factor will also be taken into consideration in the evaluation process, assigning higher scores to projects with higher leverage.

 

In the self-eligibility tool it is said that the beneficiaries need to have their own assets in the island, what does is mean?

This is true only for private operators, who need to: (i) operating own assets on an eligible EU island; (ii) operating assets of public interest on an eligible EU island with concession from the relevant public authority for the realization of the intervention; (iii) promoting a project whose impacts are achieved on an eligible EU island, to be eligible.

 

In NESOI self-check eligibility tool at question "11. When would you expect the NESOI project would be mobilized?". What do you mean by "mobilized"? The project should be finished by that date? Or simply the investments related to that project should start by that date?

NESOI seeks for projects that need support as soon as possible. Projects will have different maturity level and timeline. Applications for early stage planning have to be implemented by 2027, while executable projects have to be put out for tender or contract before the end of NESOI project in September 2023.

 

In NESOI self-check eligibility tool at question "8. NESOI will accept both single entity proposals and consortia ones: please select the type of beneficiary that better suits your entity or consortia" the options are public/private/public-private and then energy community. What do you mean by this last option? Also, an energy community might be private or public + private...

Energy community means association of final consumers willing to undertake a joint project in the energy field. According to the eligibility criteria, this option applies only if the energy community is already set up. If it is about supporting the creation of a local energy community, the application has to be submitted by the municipality where the energy users are located. NESOI cannot finance an entity that does not exist yet. At the moment there are few energy communities in place, so we expect this option to be rarely ticked.

 

Do you support classical thermal generation that a) replaces older thermal generation and b) allows renewables to happen?

We don't want to support brand new thermal generation; however we are including projects that operate on existing plants to improve them and we can consider CHPs as high efficiency and sustainable generation

 

Can companies participate on the programme? We have co-operation agreement with island X

Yes, but they must provide a framework agreement and an official link with the Municipality via a Letter of support (template available here)

 

As a private engineer in the islands, would I be eligible to the NESOI funding scheme?

As a private engineer, you're a "single person SME". As a private entity therefore, you must provide a framework agreement and an official link with the Municipality via a LOS

 

In the case of entities representing archipelagos with several islands, how can they overcome the limit of a single grant per entity if they would like to present 1 project per island?

The limit of funding is on the entity, not on the island. So an entity can receive maximum 60 k€. To present more project on an island, more representing entities should be found

 

Is zero-emission mobility within NESOI's scope? Should this involve energy production on the island?

Yes, should this involve energy production on the island? not mandatorily but preferable

 

Can projects that are joint ventures between multiple MS be able to apply (while still being in line with the given criteria)?

Yes, projects promoted by a consortium of legal entities (even if belonging to different member states) are eligible. In any case, no project can receive an overall support higher than the threshold (60k + 60k)

 

As far as I understand, there is no criterion by country, but only the quality of the submitted projects will be seen as a crucial factor.

To be eligible, a project must be located in EU or UK (outermost regions included). In the evaluation phase, 4 macro-areas are foreseen: Baltic Sea, North-East Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Sea (jointly) and Other areas (e.g. non-European parts of Atlantic Ocean). The quality of the project will be evaluated as well.

 

What exactly means that the private eligible applicant must have an asset on which to work on the project? What if at this stage of project planning it is not necessary to have an asset but at a later stage?

A private entity (industrial plant, hotel for instance) is eligible provided the project concerns the asset in question or a public asset. If the aim is to install a new power plant, there is no asset yet, this case also is eligible. This will be explained in the Technical Assistance menus.

 

If an island has no energy transition programme at all, can we apply to have a feasibility study done so that we can then move forward later?

Active engagement of stakeholders resulting to measurable impacts

Yes, with the need for the transition plan to be formally approved by the local authority (planning document).

 

Can a national research centre be part of a consortium?

Yes, also national research centres are eligible for NESOI

 

Can a municipality located on an island apply as a single promoter?

Yes, Local Authorities can be the sole promoter

 

 


EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF BENEFICIARIES

How many projects will be supported by this project call?

NESOI aims to support approx. 60 projects in total through two open calls.

 

If the evaluation is done on the basis of absolute numbers of energy savings/CO2 avoided instead of "per capita", doesn't this disadvantage projects from smaller islands?

We would like to have both perspectives; from one side we want to achieve a relevant impact (i.e. absolute values) but from the other one we are aware that it would disadvantage project from smaller islands (which is not our objective)

 

What exactly does an archipelago mean? Can we have islands from the North Adriatic and the South Adriatic in the consortium and thus be considered to have more islands and therefore be considered eligible for bonus points

The meaning of an archipelago can be interpreted in a flexible way. Several islands which are not part of the same geographical archipelago can benefit from the archipelago bonus if they apply together and put forward some synergies.

 

If we are positively evaluated, do we get financial resources and then do the procurement or do we spend our own funds first and ask for a refund?

If your project gets the grant, the financial resources will be transferred in 2 payments, 50% will be paid after the mid progress report and 50% after the final report

 

During the webinar it was said that the public-private partnership is welcome, is there any intention for additional bonus points if the project objective is achievable through such a legal form?

Public-Private Partnership is welcome, but there is no intention for additional bonus points if the project objective is achievable through such a legal form.

 

If a new company in the islands want to propose a project, are there any requirements the company should satisfy? For example, proven experience in the sector or since the platform provides technical support it would not be a key parameter for the project evaluation.

Private companies need to provide their background. If a company is new, lack of significant experience should be compensated by the choice of a mature technology or experience of technical providers.

 

 


APPLICATION FORM & REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

What will be the page limit of these applications?

It will be an online format equivalent maximum to a 10 Word page proposition

 

I thought there can be multiple projects from same island. If there is only one local authority on this island does it mean that actually only one project can be submitted from this island?

In this case only one application can be submitted. However, the island could submit multiple sites of the same type of technology (for instance energy efficiency of multiple buildings; or "package" of several storage plants in different sites).

  

In the Guide for Applicants, on page 18, it says: please list the key stakeholders identified and present the actions done for their engagement (max. 500 characters). What does exactly mean? Does it mean action to be done or done before the project?

If engagement activities have already been performed, you can provide the details here. Otherwise, you can explain which are the planned activities to involve the relevant stakeholder in the future.

 

Preparing the project, is it a strength to show a strong competitive expert partner ready to contribute or is it expected to select a contractor through public announcement? It is difficult and both time and money consuming to arrange this kind of tender with several unknown marketing channels, which can end to the offer from a service provider, not well-fitting into our ecosystem.

Public authorities need to follow European public procurement rules to select the advisor(s) to work on the project. In any case, the applicant could receive NESOI support in drafting the tender, mainly as far as technical specification of the services are concerned.

 

 


FINANCIAL SUPPORT PROVIDED

What is the financial leverage factor?

The Financial leverage is the ratio between the total investment costs of the project supported and the total amount of the Technical Assistance coming from the NESOI facility. Despite not being an eligibility criteria, NESOI acknowledges that projects being characterized by an indicative leverage of 20x would allow addressing appropriately project objectives. The leverage factor will also be taken into consideration in the evaluation process, assigning higher scores to projects with higher leverage or also excluding projects which do not achieve a ratio coherent with project characteristics.

 

What will be the % of co-financing?

Technical Assistance for the final beneficiaries is 100% funded.

 

If you pay retroactively, does this mean that project applicants will have to spend their own money for project activities?

Yes, the payment scheme consists in two instalments subject to the approval of monitoring reports. No expenses occurred before the signing of the sub-grand contract will be considered as eligible. In addition, financial resources shall not produce a profit for the beneficiary.

 

Are the costs of the staff, which will be engaged within the project applicant organization, eligible?

No, the direct funding is devoted to procure local advisors who will cooperate with NESOI consortium members. Among the activities that can be funded are feasibility studies, engineering analyses, legal analyses, social studies, market studies, financial analyses, and further supporting tasks. The aim is to procure external services.

 

Are pilots/PoCs eligible for direct grant? Is there a co-financing requirement?

Pilots/PoCs can benefit from the innovation bonus we have defined in selection criteria. But the project, the role of the actors and technologies to be implemented have to be very well defined so as to make sure the project has a real impact in the local energy context. Co-financing correspond to the leverage factor: if NESOI provides support for a value of 120 k€ for instance, the investment mobilised has to be 15 to 20 times higher.

 

If capital expenditure is not eligible then in fact pilots are not really eligible (e.g. hardware and software costs)?

We can support pilot project within the boundaries of technical assistance providers. Innovative projects will have difficulties accessing market finance. We can support them in searching the need for finance. In other words, the purpose of NESOI is not to subsidize projects but to provide technical assistance (expert resources from NESOI + cascade funding for external expertise) so as to make the projects attractive to investors.

 

Can the parts of ongoing projects be financed? For example if documentation for renewable installation is not financed, can NESOI funds cover that?

Yes, it can be part of NESOI support if the timeline allows. For clarification, NESOI can co-finance technical assistance, not capital expenditure. We can support the activity to go and find the missing co-financing.

 

Is the direct financing meant to hire an expert?

The direct financing is meant to complement our own intervention. Typically, it will be used to hire service providers for technical assistance activities on legal technical and economic issues, in particular in relation to local and/or country-specific activities.

 

Being a private entity, I don't need to ask for consulting services to third parties in order to develop my "feasibility study", besides NESOI advisors. Can the grant support finance internal expenses of my company?

The support offered by NESOI is integrated in the two components - grant funding and direct support. It is therefore not possible to provide a beneficiary with only one of the two. Moreover, the expenses related to the internal staff are not eligible

 

 


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Are there specific criteria to be used by local beneficiaries for the selection of local Technical Assistance covered by NESOI?

Presenting the project, the end-user will be able to choose which type of Technical Assistance to be required. In the proposal you will be able to present which type of support would be needed in accordance to a set of capabilities/expertise that the NESOI supporting team could have

 

How we determine the value of your engagement? how will we know we are within 60,000 euros? Will you have a price list? How can we estimate the NESOI technical support cost in order to apply accordingly?

Applicants need to select the Technical Assistance Menu which best fits into their specific project and needs. Only if needed, they can suggest also some adjustments to the standard menus, in terms of activities, deliverables and grant amount. The final Technical Assistance structure and in particular NESOI direct support (provided by NESOI members in addition to the provision of grant funding) will be agreed in a negotiation phase after the evaluation, there is no need for the applicant to determine its value.

 

Can NESOI make a study to decide the best options for any given island? Otherwise how does a entity decide the best situation for the community?

We will provide some menus for Technical Assistance to help applicants match their needs with NESOI support. In the NESOI menu, "pre-feasibility stage" corresponds to supporting project promoters in defining the roadmap of the energy transition project and seeking funding for instance in the framework of MFF 21-27. NESOI can also support early stage planning (for instance helping delivering energy or mobility transition plans), in this case the promoters have to commit to execute the project in the mid-term (more than a study, the NESOI support should lead to an implementation plan).

 

For the activities listed in the planning documents that can be done by for beneficiaries of the project and/or NESOI consortium, if there are more than one activity in each bullet point, can be shared between beneficiary and NESOI? What type of support will you provide?

The Technical Assistance menus are standard templates. In case the Menu is not coherent with your specific needs, you can suggest any adjustments which should be duly justified, i.e. adding or delating some activities you believe are/are not necessary to your project. The final Technical Assistance structure and in particular NESOI direct support will be agreed in a negotiation phase after the evaluation.

 

 


OTHER

What is the difference between EUCity Facility and NESOI? Criteria seem quite similar.

We provide support to ISLAND ONLY projects, while they provide projects to every type of municipality. They provide support to redaction of plans, we provide support to different type of projects

 

Can a university serve as advisor/counsellor to a local authority and apply for the grant

They can if they already have an agreement with the local authority, in compliance with tendering laws.

 

Can a private company directly partner with some potential islands having already a renewable project? If yes how? Is it possible for you to share to islands a private company's interest?

Matching private entities with islands is not in the scope of NESOI project. It can however be a result of NESOI for instance in case of the set-up of the PPP (in this case NESOI will support the local authority).