Applied Environmental Research

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Organizations working towards standardization have defined universal standards for Best Management Practices (BMPs) for renewable energy (RE) projects. However, these universal standards are better suitedto large-scale than small-scale projects such as community renewable energy (CRE) projects. Methods used by CRE projects to achieve BMP status remain to be determined. This paper aims to present various aspects of BMPs for small-scale CRE projects by emphasizing practices that are unrestricted, simple, andadaptable to the surrounding environment, and that will eventually lead to sustainability in the commu-nity. The case study involves RE projects at the 'Sathya Sai School Thailand,' an education-based com-munity which has a community-like organizational management. The community implements CRE pro-jects for educational-awareness program and to serve their energy needs, starting with micro scale in the community which then will impact on the reduction of climate change crisis at global level. The methodologies used for initial assessment of the involvement of residents and stakeholders, attitude of residents towards CRE project management, and attitudes towards the benefits of CRE project management included (1) field research (i.e., field observations and key-person interviews) and (2) a preference questionnaire. The results identify strengths and weaknesses of CRE project management, and are used to evaluate whether CRE project management constitutes a BMPs by using 'The scale and sustainability score sheet' tool. Moreover, recommendations for CRE projects to achieve BMPs status for sustainable community RE are generated from synthesis of sustainability ratings of CRE project management and integration of BMPs theory with the gaps and weaknesses of CRE project management. In conclusion, solutions focus on 'actual problem-based solving approach', understanding CRE project management problems and sustained practices by community residents are at the core of BMPs. Experiences can be shared by exchanging RE knowledge among academic and professional networks, and this exchange may improve the suitability of REs in relation to dynamic changes in environmental conditions.

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