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Low Carbon Hub

Financial performance

Please note that the information on this page is only a partial overview of the financial information in the offer document, which should be read in full before any decision to invest is made.

The Low Carbon Hub is aiming to raise £1.5 million of investment in the Community Energy Fund in this round.

This investment will help grow their renewable energy projects:

- Developing ground mount solar PV sites
- Continue to grow their portfolio of rooftop solar PV arrays

 Over recent years, the Low Carbon Hub Group has significantly expanded its asset base, with over £8.4 million expended on generating assets.

How your investment works in practice

Low Carbon Hub is opening up this round of the Community Energy Fund for investment until 31 March 2021.

• You can invest from £100 to a maximum of £100,000
• You start earning interest from the day your application for shares is formally accepted by the Board of Low Carbon Hub, this will most likely be in April 2021.
• Interest is calculated at the end of each financial year based on the performance of energy projects funded during that year.
• Interest is paid out to investors after the end of each financial year – this can be several months after year end.
• The full target interest rate of 5% is earned after the fourth anniversary of investment – to reward long-term commitment, investment held in the Community Energy Fund for more than four years will be eligible to receive the full target interest rate. For the first four years of investment the target interest rate is 4%.
• You are eligible to apply to withdraw equity following the fourth anniversary of your investment. Athough they cannot guarantee to fulfil all request, they commit to making funding available to facilitate some requests.

Solar PV development

Ray Valley Solar and Project LEO


Planning permission has been secured for Ray Valley Solar, a 19 MW ground mount solar park, near Arncott, three miles south east of Bicester. Permission has also been obtained for significant battery storage on site. The final project design is in development but is anticipated to comprise 45,000 solar panels on an 80-acre site. They plan to:

- Build the largest community-owned solar park in the UK
- Generate 18 GWh of clean green electricity every year, enough to power over 6,000 homes
- Keep £2.6 million worth of energy spend in the local economy each year
- Provide £13 million community benefit funding over the project lifetime.

Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire) is a collaborative partnership that is one of the most ambitious, wide ranging innovative and holistic smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK. It is an incredible opportunity to fundamentally change the way the UK energy system works and demonstrate how we can transition to a zero carbon energy system.

To this end, Ray Valley Solar will provide an important ‘anchor generation load’ for the trial and thereby enable the Low Carbon Hub to:

- Run trials to test the system and demonstrate the potential a smart and coordinated use of local generation, storage     and demand has in decarbonising the energy system as a whole
- Test innovative local long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that would harness local power consumption to     make community-owned energy projects financially viable without the need for subsidies such as the Feed-in Tariff
- Future-proof the project with significant potential for battery storage on-site
- Create replicable business models for community energy projects at this scale.

 The table below summarises the lifetime income and expenditure for the Ray Valley Solar ground mount solar PV project, based on a 19MW ground mount solar PV array.


Key financial table assumptions:

  • 40- year project
  • System degradation 0.4% a year
  • 100% of electricity exported
  • Total capital costs of £10.1 million
  • Post-grant debt to equity ratio 35:65
  • Operating costs increase 2% a year
  • PPA starting price at £38//MWh rising 3% a year

Ray Valley Solar – Summary projects lifetime

Ray Valley Solar – Summary projects lifetime

Society Funds

Long-term liabilities as of March 2020 related to a loan to fund Sandford Hydro of £1,727,510 from Charity Bank, held in Low Carbon Hub Sandford Hydro Limited. This loan is ring-fenced within the wholly owned subsidiary and therefore exposure is limited only to Sandford Hydro portfolio shareholders. The total long-term liabilities also included £119,623 deferred income relating to the transfer of ONCORE (see note 12 in their Consolidated Accounts available on the Low Carbon Hub website).

At the end of the 2019/20 financial year, the Low Carbon Hub also had short-term liabilities of £85,000 to the Charity Bank, a £100,000 loan for the Sandford Hydro fish pass and £531,438 to Oxford City Council. The Oxford City Council loan was repaid in full in July 2020.

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