Low Carbon to build the largest community solar farm in the UK
For the rights to a 19MW solar farm with battery storage capacity, Low Carbon Ltd has agreed an arrangement with social enterprise Low Carbon Center.
According to the pair, the Ray Valley Solar farm - which will produce 18 GWh per year - will be the largest community-owned solar farm in the UK and will consist of 45,000 panels.
In May, planning approval was obtained for the site, with battery storage also accepted. It is part of Project Local Energy Oxfordshire, a county project that has been acclaimed as one of the UK's "most wide-ranging and holistic" smart grid trials.
Low Carbon said the "anchor load" of renewable electricity production will be generated by the solar farm, which is "needed to demonstrate the potential of local generation, storage and demand coordinated use in decarbonizing the energy system."
The Ray Valley Solar Farm is to be the first ground-mount solar production of Low Carbon Hub, and the first subsidy-free solar project of Low Carbon Ltd with Barbara Hammond, CEO of Low Carbon Hub, saying that the company is "thrilled" to branch into ground-mount.
The Low Carbon Hub has reopened its Community Energy Fund to finance the farm, with a total of £ 7 million already invested by over 1,300 people to support community energy in Oxfordshire.
Low Carbon Ltd, meanwhile, has a 4GW renewable pipeline and most recently entered into a collaboration to build three new solar farms with supermarket Tesco.
Low Carbon Ltd chief executive Roy Bedlow said the company is "pleased" to develop Ray Valley Solar and looks forward to its "long-term involvement in maximizing the site's renewable energy output through asset management."