More than just a solar farm
As a community benefit society, Southill Community Energy (SCE) aims to have a positive impact in and around Charlbury. Through a programme of grants, we will invest in the community to fund local low-carbon initiatives that encourage, inspire and empower people and organisations to reduce their carbon emissions.
Projected investment in local low-carbon initiatives
Species of birds identified on site, including 6 pairs of skylarks
Estimated annual CO2 saving versus energy from fossil fuels
Our first project was a community-owned solar farm. In operation since 2016, Southill Solar will generate enough green electricity for 1,100 homes - most of the homes in Charlbury, Finstock & Fawler - for 25 years. Profits from Southill will be used to fund local low-carbon projects – reducing energy use from buildings, food, transport and consumption and educating ourselves and our community as we go.
Charlbury Community Centre
Southill Community Energy used some of the profits from the solar farm to make a donation of £67,500 towards the new Charlbury Community Centre. The funding helped them to deliver a better energy efficiency standard for the building - thanks to excellent insulation, triple glazing and low-energy LED lighting.
Corner House refurbishment
We hope to work with the Corner House when they undertake a significant refurbishment of this listed building in the heart of Charlbury. This prospective project could help with a challenge faced by villages all over England – how to make older buildings more energy-efficient, cheaper to run, and more sustainable.
Enhancing local ecology
We are committed to paying an annual sum to Cotswold Conservation Board, as a proportion of our surpluses, for landscape enhancements.
This is part of our promise to use the Southill Solar site - which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – to enhance local biodiversity and offer a refuge to threatened species – birds, plants, insects and maybe even mammals.
Your community, your energy, your company:
Forecasts show that we will have on average £30,000 a year to invest locally. That’s around £750,000 over the lifetime of the project.
This funding for the community comes from surpluses generated by Southill Solar, after we pay our operating costs and interest to our members.
Because Southill Community Energy is run by its members, it’s up to you to decide where the community fund is best invested. All members get a vote at the AGM and we all have a say.