First project for social developer Low Carbon Hub within new FiTs regime
Oxford, 21 November 2016 ~ CTG, a Banbury-based site of UTC Aerospace Systems, is now host to the UK’s biggest community-owned rooftop solar array.
At 712kW, the 2590 panel project will generate 593,304 kWh of clean electricity every year -- enough to power 150 homes -- and avoid 5800 tonnes of CO2 over the 20 years of the project’s lifetime.
The project is owned and developed by Oxford-based social enterprise Low Carbon Hub and was designed and installed by Solarcentury.
“What made this project work in the context of massive solar subsidy cuts, was UTC Aerospace Systems CTG’s corporate goals for carbon reductions and their willingness to see the social and environmental value of our community benefit model.”
TIM CRISP, Business Project Manager, Low Carbon Hub
UTC Aerospace Systems’ goal is to be the greenest aerospace company in the world. CTG is one of UTC Aerospace System’s 126 manufacturing sites around the world. Their Singapore facilities installed solar panels in 2015, reducing emissions by 2000 metric tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of 1 million kg of coal burned.
“Our business is at the forefront of aerospace innovation and technology. We’re working on next generation aircraft that will enable greener flight. What we do inside our factory is reflected in what we do outside. Using our roof space to generate clean energy whilst also helping the local community is a win-win for us all.”
JOHN ENGLAND, Site Director, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG
Low Carbon Hub funded the upfront costs of the CTG project through a mix of loans and a community energy share offer. Other projects funded by their 2016 share offer include a 636 kWp solar project with Prodrive (also in Banbury), a 440 kWp community-owned hydro project at Sandford on Thames, and 12 solar PV projects on Oxfordshire schools.
Notes to editors
Low Carbon Hub reinvests 100% of their surplus revenue from energy generation back into their Community Benefit Fund -- projected to reach £3.5 million over 20 years -- which they use to scale up renewable energy generation and reduce energy demand in Oxfordshire.
UK's two biggest (rooftop) people's power stations both in Banbury
The CTG array comes hot on the heels of Low Carbon Hub’s Prodrive HQ project, up until now the country’s biggest community-owned rooftop solar project. While Prodrive was Low Carbon Hub’s last project to have secured the 4.85p feed-in tariff (FiT) rate, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG is the first example of Low Carbon Hub’s new business model working with the cut in solar subsidies.
Low Carbon Hub's post-cuts business model
Low Carbon Hub's Business Project Manager Tim Crisp said:
"Low Carbon Hub offers a zero cost solar PV installation with the additional benefit of an RPI linked purchase price of the generated electricity, reducing a company’s exposure to the energy market. This shelters companies from energy price inflation and may even reduce the company’s electricity bills over the term of the lease."
Low Carbon Hub (developer):
Gudrun Freese (Ms)