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Low Carbon Hub

Who benefits

The Low Carbon Hub brings multiple benefits to the local community and the environment through the development of community renewable energy, energy efficiency schemes for homes and businesses and catalysing innovative solutions to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon energy system.

Renewable energy generation

 

The Low Carbon Hub Community Energy Fund is aiming to raise £1.5 million of equity in this round, and £3 million by the end of 2021, to pursue a range of opportunities that will enable it to strengthen and grow its portfolio of community energy projects.

Through the support of over a thousand investors, the Low Carbon Hub has already developed 47 renewable energy installations, which generate 4.5 GWh of green electricity per year, enough to power 1,465 homes and save 1,259 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The Low Carbon Hub plan to significantly increase their capacity to produce clean electricity. They have secured the opportunity to build a 19 MW ground mount solar park, Ray Valley Solar, which will be the UK’s largest community-owned solar park, this will result in a five-fold increase in the Low Carbon Hub’s annual green electricity production.

The project is estimated produce enough electricity to power over 6,000 homes and save 4,200 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Supporting innovation

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

The project will enable Low Carbon Hub to run trials to demonstrate the potential a coordinated use of local generation, storage and demand has in transitioning us to a zero carbon energy system.

Community Benefit

A key area of social impact delivered by Low Carbon Hub is the revenues that go into community benefit. All the financial surpluses from their electricity generation are reinvested in further projects. Helping businesses to cut their energy use, funding green innovation and backing further community energy projects

 

The Low Carbon Hub estimate that over the course of the project lifetime, Ray Valley Solar will create £13 million in community benefit. This is in addition to the existing project portfolio estimated to create £2.5 million in community benefit over its lifetime.

In 2019/20 the Low Carbon Hub spent £1.4 million on community benefit, providing practical and financial support to encourage community energy to flourish. They also support innovation in the energy sector, for example through Project LEO.

Part of the community benefit fund goes towards providing grants to Oxfordshire’s low carbon community groups to help them further cut the county’s carbon emissions.

For example, in 2019/20 they awarded three £5,000 grants to Low Carbon Oxford North for their Healthy Streets and Active Travel project to lower emissions in the city; to Transition Eynsham Area to help them develop a model for advising communities on low carbon housing development; and to Sustainable Didcot for them to conduct a town-wide energy audit to help them understand where energy reductions can be made. A range of smaller grants of £500 were also distributed.

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