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Osney Lock Hydro

Who we are

What do we do?

We are a social enterprise that generates green electricity in west Oxford. Our surplus income is used to support further carbon-cutting action in our community. We own and operate a small hydro scheme on the Thames at Osney, and solar arrays on three buildings in west Oxford. We generate on average 270 MWh per year from these projects. WOCoRe is part of People’s Power Station, an Oxfordshire network of renewable energy generators.

As well as supplying clean energy we:

  • educate people about energy and climate change
  • make grants to voluntary organisations promoting energy efficiency and biodiversity
  • take part in government-funded research to help inform the design of the smart grid of the future

Why does this matter?

As a trusted local group we can play a role in helping people understand the energy transition. As we move away from gas heating and petrol engines, electricity consumption will increase, putting significant pressure on our infrastructure. We will all need to embrace improved energy efficiency and shift our patterns of use to manage peak demand on the grid.

WOCoRe is a member of Community Energy England and we share its ideals and ambitions. Energy markets are currently skewed towards large-scale generators owned by big investment funds. With the right incentives local communities could be doing more to generate electricity and manage demand in ways that bring financial rewards.

How are we funded?

Local people invested in the project to get it up and running. We are owned by our shareholders and run entirely by volunteers. Our original capital costs were covered through a combination of community shares, loans and grants. We now have our own sustainable income stream from the sale of the electricity we generate. This enables us to cover our operational and maintenance costs, and support local community action on climate change.

Our story

WOCoRe was established by a group of local residents to build and manage community-owned renewable energy schemes in west Oxford. We wanted to make a contribution to reducing west Oxford’s carbon footprint.

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