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Southill Community Energy

Social performance

A Community Benefit Society acts for the benefit of the community. Southill Community Energy aims both to generate electricity from renewable sources, to reduce energy demand, and to invest in other projects that will reduce the community’s carbon emissions.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Carbon dioxide reduced.

The 4.5MW solar farm will generate enough electricity to power around 1,100 average UK homes and save around 2,372 tonnes of CO2 a year over the 25-year lifetime of the project.

KSPI 2 - Community fund

The provision of significant local community benefits is central to SCE's vision. As part of its planning application Sustainable Charlbury volunteered significant community benefit, including allocation of funds to specific projects. The first of these projects are:

  • Up to £100,000 to the Charlbury Community Centre which will be under construction during 2016. SCE's funds will be used to reduce the energy demand of the building and be used to carry out a post-occupancy evaluation which will check that the community centre building performs in use as it was designed to do.
  • Up to £100,000 to the Corner House that will be extensively refurbished and re-established with new uses and users, including an office for the town clerk. SCE’s funds will be used to ensure that the building is refurbished to the best energy performance standard possible and used as an exemplar to illustrate techniques and outcomes as an educational tool for Oxfordshire residents and beyond.
  • The third pre-agreed beneficiary of the community fund after Year 2 will be the Cotswold Conservation Board to whom £15,000 or 25% of the community benefit (whichever is the lesser) will go for further landscape enhancements.

The remaining community benefit will be allocated to a dedicated community fund that will be used to award grants or provide loans to projects which will further reduce the carbon emissions of the local area. SCE expect to contribute around £750,000  in community benefit over the lifetime of the project depending on the cash available.

KSPI 3 - Biodiversity

The site landowner has agreed to allow SCE to use the remainder of the field not being used for the solar park to enhance the landscape, where SCE will sow a five-acre wildflower meadow and plant clumps of trees, mainly fruit trees. It is intended that sheep will be used to graze the field, including the ground under the panels. The existing hedge is already undergoing renewal as another of the terms of our planning consent.

SCE intends to create significant environmental benefit and ongoing land management in order to increase the biodiversity of the site. SCE are being advised by Dr Guy Parker, who is the UK’s leading solar ecologist. There are two Sites of Scientific Special Interest nearby and the Southill Solar site will effectively be a link between the two creating an important wildlife corridor.

KSPI 4 - Education

SCE intendeds to run educational visits for local school and other community groups and interested parties.

Common environmental performance indicators (CEPIs)

CEPIs are environmental performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Carbon emissions

Reducing carbon emissions is one of the core aims of SCE. The carbon savings from this project are estimated to be on 2,372  tonnes of carbon dioxide over the 25 year lifetime of the project.

Staff travel to work

SCE does not currently employ any staff.

Waste and recycling

SCE does not currently report on waste and recycling.

Common Social Performance Indicators (CSPIs)

CSPIs are social performance indicators that are common to all businesses, no matter what their main business activity is. Read more

Community investment

Please see above KPSI 2.

Ethical procurement

The Society does not currently report on ethical procurement but looks to uphold the ethical values set out for Co-operative Members of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Local employment

SCE does not have any direct employees.

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