What projects is this round of our Community Energy Fund funding?

The Low Carbon Hub Community Energy Fund is the opportunity for investors to put your money to work delivering local projects which tackle climate change. Each round of the Community Energy Fund supports a different range of projects, so we wanted to outline what the £1.5 million we’re aiming to raise in this round will be put towards.

This Spring we have three key funding needs, as outlined below. You can also read the full details on these in our Share Offer Document.

Grow our portfolio of renewable energy generation projects

‘Powering up’ and developing renewable energy generation projects around Oxfordshire has been a key part of the Low Carbon Hub since our conception.

Rooftop solar arrays

A core part of this has been working with schools, businesses, and communities to install solar PV panels on their rooftops.

In 2020 we’ve been working with West Witney Primary School and Langford Village Primary School to install solar PV panels, allowing the school to be powered by renewables, with no upfront cost. We still need funding to complete the finance on these two solar school installations, and this money will be raised through the Community Energy Fund.

Develop ground mount solar sites

To meet our energy demands without exacerbating climate change, we need to fundamentally transform the way our energy system works. To do this, we need to:

  • Power down: increase energy efficiency to reduce demand
  • Power up: increase availability of energy from renewable sources
  • Match supply and demand to ensure we have enough energy available to meet needs at any time, using storage and flexibility.

We’re working on the supply and demand aspect through our role as a Project LEO partner – a smart grid trial project aiming to improve our understanding of a smarter, more flexible energy system.

To do this, we need a ‘base load’ of renewable energy to support the trials. In Oxfordshire, increasing renewable energy generation means looking at ground mount solar – as we outlined in a previous post. So, money invested in the Community Energy Fund will also help to finance the first phase of this ground mount solar development.

Replace £200,000 of Sandford Hydro debt funding

The Low Carbon Hub IPS took out a £200,000 loan to part-fund the construction of Sandford Hydro. We used Oxford City Council’s short-term revolving loan to repay the initial loan we took out, but we now need to replace that with equity, so that we can reduce the debt burden of Sandford Hydro.

Want to help us achieve these funding needs? Your next step is to make sure you read our Share Offer Document for all the information and details you need to make an investment in this round of the Community Energy Fund.

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