The Low Carbon Hub (LCH) is a social enterprise that develops community-owned renewable energy installations across Oxfordshire. Their projects not only produce clean energy but also aim to accelerate the transition to the zero carbon energy system needed in the future, providing electricity, heat and a clean transport system – all powered by renewables.
Their renewable energy installations produce an ongoing income, which is reinvested in further renewable energy projects and carbon cutting projects via a community grants programme which funds green innovations and helps local organisations become more energy efficient. These innovation grants had been awarded to 648 small local businesses (as of Jan 2021).
Carbon balancing donations from ecolibrium members to our Energy Revolution programme in 2020 were invested with the Low Carbon Hub to help them grow their portfolio of community-owned renewable energy projects. The donations will support LCH to develop 19 MW ground mount solar park at Ray Valley, which will form a significant ‘anchor generation load’ for their ‘Project LEO’ (Local Energy Oxfordshire) enabling them to run trials at scale and demonstrate the potential of local energy to decarbonise the energy system.
Planning permission has already been secured for the Ray Valley Solar project; the final project design is in development but it is anticipated to comprise 45,000 solar panels on an 80-acre site with significant battery storage on site.
Ray Valley Solar will:
- Be the largest community-owned solar park in the UK
- Generate 18 GWh of clean green electricity every year, enough to power over 6,000 homes
- Keep £2.6 million worth of energy spend in the local economy each year
- Provide £13 million community benefit funding over the project lifetime.
The Low Carbon Hub already manage 47 renewable energy installations; generating 4.5 GWh of green electricity a year (enough to power 1,465 typical homes) and the partners hosting the installations include 31 schools, 6 businesses and 3 community organisations.
Find out more at www.lowcarbonhub.org.