Sustainable Charlbury

February 21, 2014
by Southill Solar

Public meeting 28/11/2013

Once again an excellent turn out meant that there was an interested and engaged audience for the presentations. For any one who wasn’t able to attend, or who did but would like a reminder, a copy of the presentation slides is available here.

After the presentations there was a lively series of questions and answers, a summary of which will be posted on the site over the next day or two.

Everyone who has supplied an email address and indicated that they would like to be kept up to date with the project’s progress should receive a follow up email over the next few days, if you don’t receive this email but would like to be kept in touch, please contact us to check that we have the correct email, or to give us new details

November 28, 2013
by Southill Solar

Winter Green Fair

Saturday 7th December
Oxford Town Hall
10.30am – 4.30pm

Over 100 stalls, Christmas gifts, art, jewellery, ethical goods, green technologies, food, music


Oxfordshire Green Party

October 10, 2013
by Southill Solar

Landfill Site Tour

An invitation from Cherwell District Council:

“We will be doing a tour of Dix Pit landfill near Witney on 11th November at 3pm. This will include information on how landfill sites are regulated and managed, how birds of prey are used at the site and how landfills generate electricity. . Prior to this there will be another tour of Cassington AD plant at 2pm”.

If you would like to join either visit please contact Becky at


September 10, 2013
by Southill Solar

BBC Radio 4 – A fascinating look at an ‘environmental experiment on an unprecedented scale’

Listen to the podcast here

June 21, 2013
by Southill Solar


A big thank you to everyone who came along the Southill Solar Introductory meeting on Thursday evening. The hall was full, the questions flowed and were answered, many useful points were made and will help the team to develop the project as we move on.

And move on we will! With a show of hands at the end of the meeting indicating a huge majority in favour of supporting the project the evening ended on a very positive note.

This is not the end of the consultation process which will continue throughout the project. Please do keep asking the questions and sharing opinions. The website is a blog format which makes it super easy to post questions and make points.

A reminder please to complete the questionnaire if you haven’t already done so, Community engagement is an essential part of this process. By far the easiest way to do this is via our website But further paper copies of the questionnaire will be available from the post office who have kindly agreed to collect up completed surveys.

Whilst the website is the obvious place for us communicate updates, we will also be setting up a Twitter account in the next few days. We do realise that not everyone wants to be communicated with via computer or devices so we will also be producing regular poster updates and further progress meetings will be held. Keep an eye out on local notice boards.

To be assured of updates please fill in the sign up box on the website (its a different box to the survey but both only take seconds to complete).

Onwards and upwards!

June 19, 2013
by Southill Solar

FAQs Southill Solar

What is the lifespan of a Solar Farm? Experience of early European solar farm installations that are now over 30 years old indicates that levels of reliability are extremely high and efficiency levels of over 70% over this time frame can be expected.

What maintenance is required? Solar panels need very little maintenance other than occasional cleaning, although the electrical components will need to be checked regularly and replaced if necessary.

Doesn’t more power get used in making them than in the power they produce? The energy payback periods of a solar panel has reduced significantly in recent years, due to higher volumes of production to meet demand. Studies show that in the UK, a solar panel is expected to pay back the energy used to make it within 2 – 4 years.

Surely solar is more suited to Southern Europe & Africa? Solar panels don’t need sunshine to generate electricity, just daylight – which means they still generate on more gloomy days. In fact, the efficiency of solar panels can be affected in hot climates where the components can overheat, so temperate climates such as the UK are well suited to solar generation.

How long does it take to build a Solar Farm? The construction period is usually 16 weeks from start to finish. After construction, access for operations and maintenance activities are limited to three or four times per year.

How are the panels fixed to the ground? In general, modules are attached to an aluminium mounting system, comprising two posts that are in turn bolted to galvanised steel posts that are knocked into the ground. This arrangement avoids the need for a concrete base platform and reduces the removal costs at the end of the system life, as well as the carbon footprint of the mounting system. The depth of the steel posts is determined by engineering calculations taking wind loading and ground conditions into account but is typically around 1m —1.5m.

Do Solar panels affect aircraft? In Germany, Russia and the USA (where the solar industry is more established), several solar farms have been installed in close proximity to airports. There have been no reports of disturbances either from environmental tests or from open-space solar farm usage. In fact, pilots have been reported to use Solar Farms as visual markers for navigation.

Do Solar panels create glare? Solar cells are made to absorb as much light as possible and not to reflect it: they are light converters and have extremely low reflection levels, which increases the efficiency of the cell. Any reflection that may occur would be limited as the sun’s position changes all the time. What’s more, reflected sunlight is always less intense than direct sunlight, because it is not possible for the full amount to be reflected.

What happens at the end of the life of the Solar Farm? Once the Solar Farm ceases to operate, the modules and associated plant and equipment will be removed and the site will be returned to its original agricultural use.

What sort of security do you need on the Solar Farm? A Solar Farm will require security fencing, usually comprising of steel posts with panels made of a thin wire mesh. It may also be necessary for CCTV, Infra Red units and Ground Mounted Radar to be installed depending on the outcome of a detailed risk assessment for each site.

How big are solar panels?

Southill Solar Scale


June 14, 2013
by Southill Solar

Southill Solar Public Meeting This Week

Everyone is invited to the introductory meeting

Thursday 20th June 2013

Charlbury Memorial Hall 8.00 – 9.30

Come and find out what it’s all about! There will be plenty of information to peruse, a very short presentation covering the key facts and of course lots of opportunities to meet the experts who are helping to the take the project forward. You can ask all the questions you like and we will be listening very carefully to your opinions. In fact, you will have the opportunity to complete a short questionnaire whilst you sip a glass of wine (or a soft drink if you prefer). Alternatively the questionnaire will be available on this site for you to complete at home if you prefer