Shining the light on new solar network for Oxfordshire

Barbara Hammond and Ed Turner

Barbara Hammond and Ed Turner Buy this photo

First published in News

THE sun was shining as two leaders unveiled their new plans for an Oxfordshire solar network.

Oxford City Council deputy leader Ed Turner and Barbara Hammond, chief executive of Low Carbon Hub, said a £2.3m council loan will power a new generation of solar roof panels on to 25 schools and business buildings this summer.

And residents will be given the opportunity to buy shares in the project and receive a cut of money made from electricity generated and sold.

The first share offering, expected in September, will be the first of many, expected to come every six months, the pair said.

Ms Hammond said: “The first share offer will be for a specific set of projects, which we will bunch together.

“We would be aiming to make a new share offer every six months, so people get used to investing their money in this way.”

The contract Low Carbon Hub has with the city council lasts three years, with money from the £2.3m pot being released for projects in stages.

It has said it will repay the city council the money, plus an additional £33,000 – a return of about 1.4 per cent.

Ed Turner, the deputy leader of the council, said: “This is a good investment that will reduce the carbon footprint of Oxfordshire.”

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Comments (9)

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11:09am Thu 19 Jun 14

EMBOX2 says...

Solar in the UK is a total waste of money. A thin film of dirt loses you 10% output immediately.

Moreover the grid isn't designed for low-to-high voltage transient distribution of power, and if solar grows in scale, then much like wind it will be a bigger headache for load balancing. The sun don't always shine, the wind don't always blow.....so gas power stations have to meet the shortfall...which isn't cheap and a lot of gas comes from Mr. Putin....

When Didcot A goes, so does 2000MW of secure, stable energy supply. Remember that in the years to come, folks.
Solar in the UK is a total waste of money. A thin film of dirt loses you 10% output immediately. Moreover the grid isn't designed for low-to-high voltage transient distribution of power, and if solar grows in scale, then much like wind it will be a bigger headache for load balancing. The sun don't always shine, the wind don't always blow.....so gas power stations have to meet the shortfall...which isn't cheap and a lot of gas comes from Mr. Putin.... When Didcot A goes, so does 2000MW of secure, stable energy supply. Remember that in the years to come, folks. EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Thu 19 Jun 14

King Joke says...

Gas does come from Mr Putin, and every kWh we generate when it's sunny or windy is one less kWh we have to get from him. We have gas storage too, for the times when renewables are low or when nukes inevitably shut down as they tend to for months at a time. Coal stations can be kept going for another few years as peaking plant and stay within their limits. Frankly the more sources we have the less we are exposed to the shortcomings of any particular one.
Gas does come from Mr Putin, and every kWh we generate when it's sunny or windy is one less kWh we have to get from him. We have gas storage too, for the times when renewables are low or when nukes inevitably shut down as they tend to for months at a time. Coal stations can be kept going for another few years as peaking plant and stay within their limits. Frankly the more sources we have the less we are exposed to the shortcomings of any particular one. King Joke
  • Score: 3

1:15pm Thu 19 Jun 14

museli says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
Solar in the UK is a total waste of money. A thin film of dirt loses you 10% output immediately.

Moreover the grid isn't designed for low-to-high voltage transient distribution of power, and if solar grows in scale, then much like wind it will be a bigger headache for load balancing. The sun don't always shine, the wind don't always blow.....so gas power stations have to meet the shortfall...which isn't cheap and a lot of gas comes from Mr. Putin....

When Didcot A goes, so does 2000MW of secure, stable energy supply. Remember that in the years to come, folks.
Rubbish - our small rooftop solar installation generates almost twice what we use kWh equivalent and the rain must be washing off any dirt as no reduction in output over the last few years. Renewable technology is here and it works.

Yes there's plenty wrong with the grid and a pathetic failure to invest in power storage systems that will be essential for any renewable based generating system but that's what you get when you let the government hand over essential infrastructure to profiteers. Transforming our energy system is a huge but essential challenge and we need to be electing governments that are up for meeting it rather than burying their heads in the sand.

There is no sustainable future in coal unless we can implement carbon capture and storage which is another thing neither government or profiteers seem to have made any progress with.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Solar in the UK is a total waste of money. A thin film of dirt loses you 10% output immediately. Moreover the grid isn't designed for low-to-high voltage transient distribution of power, and if solar grows in scale, then much like wind it will be a bigger headache for load balancing. The sun don't always shine, the wind don't always blow.....so gas power stations have to meet the shortfall...which isn't cheap and a lot of gas comes from Mr. Putin.... When Didcot A goes, so does 2000MW of secure, stable energy supply. Remember that in the years to come, folks.[/p][/quote]Rubbish - our small rooftop solar installation generates almost twice what we use kWh equivalent and the rain must be washing off any dirt as no reduction in output over the last few years. Renewable technology is here and it works. Yes there's plenty wrong with the grid and a pathetic failure to invest in power storage systems that will be essential for any renewable based generating system but that's what you get when you let the government hand over essential infrastructure to profiteers. Transforming our energy system is a huge but essential challenge and we need to be electing governments that are up for meeting it rather than burying their heads in the sand. There is no sustainable future in coal unless we can implement carbon capture and storage which is another thing neither government or profiteers seem to have made any progress with. museli
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Thu 19 Jun 14

King Joke says...

Agreed on CCS - we are sitting on 200 years' worth of indigenous coal. You would have thought we'd be world leaders in CCS research, but no - we'll doubtless end up licensing it off the Germans.
Agreed on CCS - we are sitting on 200 years' worth of indigenous coal. You would have thought we'd be world leaders in CCS research, but no - we'll doubtless end up licensing it off the Germans. King Joke
  • Score: 1

1:48pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Myron Blatz says...

Problem is, its all short-term fixes to get votes from the Greens. Coal, coke and gas were all UK-sourced, which also gave work to British people. The bogey was North Sea oil and gas, and the advent of nuclear - which was supposed to be so fantastic that we'd have cheap power for ever ..... even if the downside was possible radioactive disasters, leaks into the water tables, and every likelyhood of mutant ninja voters beong employed to store the world's nuclear waste products in and under Britain's finest rural scenery! Don't blame 'Vlad the Manic Russian' but Crazy Lady Thatcher and her Tory accolades - such as Tony '£50 a pop' Blair, who has made more money from after dinner speaking than he did as PM!
Problem is, its all short-term fixes to get votes from the Greens. Coal, coke and gas were all UK-sourced, which also gave work to British people. The bogey was North Sea oil and gas, and the advent of nuclear - which was supposed to be so fantastic that we'd have cheap power for ever ..... even if the downside was possible radioactive disasters, leaks into the water tables, and every likelyhood of mutant ninja voters beong employed to store the world's nuclear waste products in and under Britain's finest rural scenery! Don't blame 'Vlad the Manic Russian' but Crazy Lady Thatcher and her Tory accolades - such as Tony '£50 a pop' Blair, who has made more money from after dinner speaking than he did as PM! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Myron Blatz says...

Sorry, for Tony Blair, that should have read £50,000 a pop for after dinner speeches and the like. Don't think old Toni would get out of his carpet slippers for just fifty quid!
Sorry, for Tony Blair, that should have read £50,000 a pop for after dinner speeches and the like. Don't think old Toni would get out of his carpet slippers for just fifty quid! Myron Blatz
  • Score: 1

9:02pm Thu 19 Jun 14

mytaxes says...

Thanks to the council for gambling with our money, I suppose if it goes wrong they can always raise our council tax. I notice that the micro hydro at Osney is still not operational, perhaps Ms Hammond should finish one project before starting any more.
Thanks to the council for gambling with our money, I suppose if it goes wrong they can always raise our council tax. I notice that the micro hydro at Osney is still not operational, perhaps Ms Hammond should finish one project before starting any more. mytaxes
  • Score: 2

11:55pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"Ed Turner, the deputy leader of the council, said: “This is a good investment that will reduce the carbon footprint of Oxfordshire.".......
....
...........can't see how he came to that conclusion, £33,000 return from a £2.3million loan over 3 years........leaving it in the bank, would return more than that........
Where's the money coming from, they don't appear to have any for road repairs etc.
"Ed Turner, the deputy leader of the council, said: “This is a good investment that will reduce the carbon footprint of Oxfordshire."....... .... ...........can't see how he came to that conclusion, £33,000 return from a £2.3million loan over 3 years........leaving it in the bank, would return more than that........ Where's the money coming from, they don't appear to have any for road repairs etc. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

7:36am Fri 20 Jun 14

King Joke says...

That's very short term thinking, and at any rate 1.4% isn't bad given how low rates are now. Who knows where the energy price will go in the next 20-30 years? In retrospect investing in free energy might look quite wise!
That's very short term thinking, and at any rate 1.4% isn't bad given how low rates are now. Who knows where the energy price will go in the next 20-30 years? In retrospect investing in free energy might look quite wise! King Joke
  • Score: 0

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