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Low Carbon Hub

What they do

Low Carbon Hub is a social enterprise that’s out to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that is good for people and good for the planet.

They develop and manage renewable energy projects in collaboration with businesses, schools, and communities across Oxfordshire – reinvesting 100% of the surplus into community benefit activities which further lower carbon emissions. They also focus on powering down projects, reducing energy demand by improving the energy efficiency of our homes and offices.

The Community Energy Fund

The Low Carbon Hub Community Energy Fund is aiming to raise £3 million of equity by the end of 2021, with a target of £1.5 million in this first round closing on 31 March 2021. This will enable them to pursue a range of opportunities to strengthen and grow its portfolio of community energy projects.

- Earn up to 5% interest on your investment
- Help fund more community energy projects across Oxfordshire
- Keep money in the local economy through community ownership
- Support local action to tackle the global climate crisis
- 100% of surpluses support further local action on climate change

Low Carbon Hub is thrilled to have already raised over £3 million into the Community Energy Fund. This money is being put to work to support community energy projects across Oxfordshire, for instance allowing them to buy out Oxford City Council’s short-term debt in the existing solar 2016 portfolio, bringing it into community ownership, as well as supporting the new projects pipeline, providing the long-term capital to fund solar PV arrays at Sonning Common Primary School, Longfields Primary and Nursery School, and more.

By investing in the Low Carbon Hub, you will help to:

Grow its portfolio of renewable energy generation projects:

1) Developing ground mount solar PV sites

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. 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 5,000 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.

The solar park will provide an important ‘anchor generation load’ for Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO). The collaborative partnership 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.

2) Growing the portfolio of rooftop solar PV arrays
The Low Carbon Hub continues to seek out ways to install roof-mounted solar PV arrays on buildings across Oxfordshire.

The Community Energy Fund was set up in 2018 to offer investors a more flexible way to invest. Since its inception, it has raised over £3 million, bringing the total amount invested by their thousand strong membership to over £7 million. Together, they are supporting over 40 community energy projects across Oxfordshire.

 

The Low Carbon Hub

Climate change is a global crisis that needs local solutions. With the support of Members and partners, the Low Carbon Hub has already built renewable energy projects for schools, businesses and communities across Oxfordshire. It is producing electricity that is not just cleaner and greener, but cheaper too as host organisations save money on their bills.

All of the financial surpluses from electricity generation are reinvested in further projects. Helping local businesses cut their energy use, funding green innovation and backing further community energy projects. They make every pound work hard to bring their vision of the future energy system to life: homes, schools, businesses and communities generating their own clean energy, becoming more energy efficient and working together to balance their energy needs. And their investor Members receive a fair return for their financial support.

Track record

 

Over the past decade, Low Carbon Hub has successfully raised over £7 million of investment, enabling it to deliver community-owned hydro and roof-top solar PV renewable energy projects across Oxfordshire. The Hub's projects deliver:

• Reduced carbon emissions through the generation of clean, green electricity
• Lower energy bills for schools and organisations hosting their solar PV installations
• Interest payments to the investors whose capital funds the projects
• Long-term funding to support further carbon-cutting activity in the community

In just a few short years the portfolio of renewable energy projects has grown from a single roof to a portfolio of 47 renewable energy projects at an original capital cost of £8.3 m. Of this, £3.8 million relates to the Solar portfolios held by the Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited and £4 million relates to Sandford Hydro, which is held in a wholly owned subsidiary, Sandford Hydro Limited. This has been made possible thanks to the £7.3m of investment from 1,312 investor Members as well as additional funding.

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