Oxfordshire's £2.3m solar panel project for schools given loan

The rooftops of 20 Oxfordshire schools will become power stations following a £2.3m loan from the city council.

The project run by Low Carbon Hub is expected to generate enough power for 250 homes.

In return the schools will receive discounted electricity for 20 years - shares in the scheme will also be offered to residents.

The organisation said the solar panels would be fitted during the school summer holidays.

A second phase will see solar panels fitted to about five businesses.

The council is set to benefit from return on investment of £33,000.

Councillor John Tanner, of Oxford City Council, said: "There are three very good reasons for Oxford City Council to make this investment: the huge environmental benefits in terms of carbon reduction, the benefits to the business and schools receiving our support and the good financial investment."

The organisation said a share offer would be offered to local residents in September which will enable the initial loan to be repaid to the council.

Low Carbon Hub helps community groups across Oxfordshire develop renewable energy and energy reduction projects.

Set up in 2011, it is a not for profit organisation that works to lower carbon emissions across Oxfordshire.

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