A £3 million success story for Low Carbon Hub via community share offer on Ethex
Ethex is delighted to share the news that the Low Carbon Hub, one of the UK’s most important community energy organisations, has hit its stretch target raise of £3 million via their community share offer on the Ethex platform.
The Low Carbon Hub is a pioneering community energy organisation, managing a growing portfolio of 47 renewable energy projects that produce enough clean energy to power nearly 1,500 homes.
They launched their 2020/21 community share offer on the Ethex positive investing platform in November 2020 and, having quickly passed the previous target amounts of £1.5 million and £2.5 million, increased the target raise to £3 million for the Community Energy Fund, which has now been met.
Barbara Hammond, CEO of Low Carbon Hub commented:
“This round of investment in the Community Energy Fund has been something of a whirlwind to witness! We've been blown away by the level of support it's received on Ethex. Thank you so much to everyone who has chosen to invest in us and put their money to work tackling climate change. We look forward to welcoming lots of new investors to the Low Carbon Hub too. We can’t wait to keep you all updated on the build of Ray Valley Solar Park - which will be the largest community-owned solar park in the UK - as well as our other solar projects as they happen."
The latest successful share offer brings the overall amount raised by the Low Carbon Hub over the last 6 years to almost £10 million from investors through Ethex. This money has funded pioneering, community-owned, clean energy projects in Oxfordshire.
Lisa Ashford CEO of Ethex says:
“Having worked with the team at Low Carbon Hub for several years, we were delighted to see significant investor interest in providing the vital people-powered finance needed to support the continued expansion of their community-owned renewable energy portfolio. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, we have witnessed a significant uplift in the number of people investing their money to help the UK Build Back Better - and helping to deliver a low carbon transition that works for the whole of society.
We’re incredibly proud that over the past 6 years our strategic partnership with Low Carbon Hub has delivered almost £10 million of enabling finance from 1,800+ everyday people to fund a low carbon energy revolution across Oxfordshire.”
Investments in this current share offer have come from just over 700 individual investors, but their money has been given a boost by co-investment from an institutional funder, MCS Charitable Foundation, who directly invested £50,000 of their own capital to help leverage the remaining investment needed from individual investors to successfully reach their target raise.
This is the first investment from MCS Charitable Foundation’s £500,000 strategic renewable energy match fund with Ethex The remaining money will be co-invested directly in at least 10 organisations focused on renewable energy and green technologies. This kind of innovative blended finance where charities and foundations invest their own capital alongside every day people can act as a significant multiplier when it comes to delivering environmental and social impact on the ground.
Low Carbon Hub’s latest share raise will help build Ray Valley Solar, the UK’s largest community-owned ground mount solar park in Oxfordshire. The project will generate 18 GWh of clean electricity each year, enough to power over 6,000 homes and save approximately 417 tonnes of CO2 being emitted annually. Ray Valley will be the Low Carbon Hub’s 48th renewable energy project and represents a five-fold increase in their annual clean energy generation.
Ray Valley Solar is also a key trial site for Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire), a £40 million cross-organisational project. Project LEO is one of the most ambitious, wide-ranging and innovative smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK, improving understanding of how a smarter, flexible energy system can help the UK reach it’s net-zero carbon targets and how households, businesses and communities can realise the benefits of this transition.
And even more good comes from the pioneering clean energy projects being funded by investments in the share offer than the electricity provided. The spirit of partnership and community is forefront in everything Low Carbon Hub does, with 100% of the surplus from all of their projects being reinvested into community projects that work to tackle climate change.