Southill solar is generating green power!

With great excitement Southill Solar was switched on this Friday 11th November, generating the first kilowatts of carbon free renewable energy.

The first metered kW of generated clean green community energy.

The first metered kW of generated clean green community energy.

 

  • The Southill Solar installation, built by Solarcentury, has a capacity of 4.5MW, enough electricity to supply 1,100 homes with electricity for the next 25 years
  • As well as generating energy, Southill will deliver over £750,000 of community benefits through a system of grants in order to help fund low carbon initiatives 
  • Environmental and biodiversity benefits will be a feature of the SouthillSolar site - further planting starts in December to give new habitats for wildlife and wildflower meadows

It's all down to you!

Everyone who invested time, energy and money as members of Southill Community Energy - this is your achievement, and we thank you. We're one small step closer to winning the war on climate change.

Join us to celebrate this moment

Join us to mark the commissioning of the Southill Solar farm with Jeremy Leggett, founder of Solarcentury and author of 'Winning the Carbon War'.

Jeremy will give his talk on energy and climate change and discussing what is being done post the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Jeremy commented:

Now, more than ever, the world needs the spirit, leadership example, and actual emissions reductions that community energy projects like this embody. The US, and to an extent the UK, are stepping towards fossil fuels and away from clean energy, just as the majority of other national governments, many local governments, and thousands of communities the world over are going the other way. I thank everyone involved, and hope Charlbury will enjoy its candle for hope as much as I will."

We look forward to seeing you on the 17th November - here are the details.

Celebrate the launch of Southill Solar!

Southill Solar is under construction and we anticipate it will be commissioned and generating electricity by mid-November.

All the trenching, cabling and framing has been completed. The inverters are all in place and connected, as are 90% of the panels. 

As the picture above shows, the panels take up less than 50% of the solar farm site and the first phase of the planting to provide further screening will take place in early December. Our community solar farm will generate 4.56MW of carbon-free solar energy to meet the needs of our community - a real reason to celebrate!

Southill Solar launch event with Jeremy Leggett

We’re planning an event to celebrate our launch – 7.30pm on 17 Nov in the Memorial Hall in Charlbury.

As well as updating you on our progress, we’re delighted to have guest speaker Jeremy Legget. Jeremy is a globally-renowned commentator in the field, and he’ll give us his take on our energy and climate change future.  Are we doing enough?  Are we doing it fast enough?  What’s going on because of – and beyond – the Climate Change Agreement signed in Paris in November last year?

Come and join us!

We do hope that you can come and listen to Jeremy and look forward to seeing you on the 17th.

Southill Solar update - bring on the build!

  • Southill Solar reaches financial close

  • Contracts signed

  • Work to begin mid-September

With your help, we've gone from this:

...to this...

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...to this!

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Bring on the build!

Bring Your Brolly Day was a game changer for Southill Solar - it turned the planning authority into supporters of our project, and after our fantastic equity raise we are now at the stage where the build will shortly be underway.

We reached financial close with the banks earlier today after an exhaustive and exhausting 6 weeks. Here's what you need to know in a nutshell:

  • Build to start w/c 19th September 
  • Commissioning of the site early November
  • Share certificates to be issued soon (dates tbc)

We would like to thank all our supporters, all of you investors, for your enthusiasm and your encouragement. Despite all of our efforts this project would just not have happened without you. It is now your project and we will do everything we can to make this a success and a project that you can be proud of.

Further updates will follow as Southill Solar progresses, so watch this space for information and images as the construction gets underway.

Southill Solar is picking up pace!

A section of the Southill Solar site - we look forward to seeing the wildflower meadow and these poppies year after year while Southill Solar is on site.

A section of the Southill Solar site - we look forward to seeing the wildflower meadow and these poppies year after year while Southill Solar is on site.

All the final pieces are coming together as we move from planning a solar farm to building a solar farm.

The finance is now secured. We’ve ordered the solar panels. We’re holding the first SCE members’ meeting on Weds 22 June. And we’ve pencilled in 5 August to start real work on the site – spades in the ground! So...

Final extension of share offer 'til July 4th

To increase the level of community ownership we are seeking further investments with the ambition of reaching our £1,400,000 equity raise target. Just to remind you we have extended the share offer a final time until financial close on Monday 4th July.

Solar panels, beehives and other tangible assets

SCE has long had a valuable asset in the form of our connection to the electricity grid. Now we’re starting to order other bits of kit – things you can touch, like the 17,500 solar panels which are due to arrive at the end of July.

SCE solar panels are a bit special – they are edged in black, not in silver like normal panels. This is because of our commitment to reducing the visual impact of Southill Solar – black-edged panels reduce the checkerboard effect of a more conventional solar farm.

We’ve also ordered a solar beehive for Southill – and we look forward to starting production of our very own honey.

Finances now secured

The formal offer of a bank loan has come through, offering SCE £2,500,000 million to fund the Southill Solar scheme. This means that SCE is now ready to fund the construction of the Southill Solar Farm using the £2,500,000 bank loan, additional underwriting secured from other partners and our £1,047,550 equity raise to date.

SCE special AGM

Members have been invited to our first members meeting on June 22nd at the Memorial Hall in Charlbury. We look forward to seeing you and to being able to thank you in person for your support, and to raise a glass to the wonderful achievement that all our members have made possible.

The final countdown!

Here’s the timeline:

  • 4 July – ENERGY INDEPENDENCE DAY! Share offer closes
  • PV modules now procured 
  • Procurement of substation by end June 2016 
  • Procurement of everything else (fencing, mounting, piles, CCTV, cables, inverters, distribution boards) - by mid July.
  • Commence on site 05/08 - site layout/ set up
  • Fencing mid to end August
  • Groundworks and Piling commence 16/08 for 3 weeks
  • Framework and PV modules in 25/08
  • Electrical works and cabling early Sept
  • Operational 26/09

Going, going, gone..

It’s your last chance to invest in this offer, join Southill Solar and be part of something great!

Your investment will not only provide you with personal returns, an average of 5% a year, but you will also be creating positive community, environmental and biodiversity impact. You will help secure the future of green renewable energy generation in West Oxfordshire. You’ll add momentum to the energy revolution that is underway, do your bit to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.