South Oxfordshire

Enso Energy, through its subsidiary company Cowley Baldon Green Limited, is proposing to develop a solar farm and battery storage facility on land to the south west of Cowley Substation, Nuneham Courtenay, Oxford, OX44 9PA.

Projects  > South Oxfordshire

Introducing South Oxfordshire

The proposed generating station would have an export capacity of up to 49.9MW for distribution to the National Grid. This is equivalent to providing enough power to meet the annual electrical needs of approximately 13,000 homes. The anticipated CO2 displacement is around 23,000 tonnes per annum, which represents an emission saving equivalent of a reduction in 7,500 cars on the road every year.

The battery storage system will supply electricity to the local electricity network at times of peak energy demand and help make the renewable energy output of the solar farm a secure and reliable part of the UK energy supply.


homes powered per year (equivalent)


tonnes of CO2 displaced per annum

Following the finalisation of the scheme design and a consultation programme with the local community, the planning application for South Oxfordshire has now been submitted and received validation (Ref: P20/S4360/FUL). The full planning application is available to view here.

Our previous engagement with the community in May 2020 enabled the development team to take on-board local feedback and look at ways of improving and enhancing the positive aspects of our scheme. In response to a number of the issues raised during the public consultation process the design of the scheme has been amended as follows:

  • The repositioning on Site of the proposed substation and battery storage facility;
  • The position of proposed Information Boards on public footpaths advising about solar energy and the biodiversity features of the proposals;
  • Retention of the existing informal public footpath in addition to reinstating the definitive public footpath;
  • The removal of solar panels on the more higher elevated sections of the fields to assist in reducing landscape, visual and heritage impacts;
  • Increasing the distances between the solar panels/security fencing and public footpaths; and
  • Strengthening of proposed new native planting in areas around the Site to improve visual screening


We held an online public consultation webinar and Q&A session event on 22nd May 2020. The webinar included a ten-minute presentation by the project team where they outlined the draft proposals. During the Q&A session which followed the webinar attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about the draft proposals – the webinar is available to watch by clicking the video below. The EIA Screening document is available for download here.

Where is South Oxfordshire Solar Farm

What are the benefits of the solar farm and battery storage facility?

The main benefits of the development proposed are summarised below:

  • It will assist South Oxfordshire District Council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets and its declared Climate Emergency.
  • Contribute towards the security of energy supply in South Oxfordshire through the provision of local, competitive renewable energy supply.
  • The project will support the UK’s urgent need to transition to a low carbon future, producing significant amounts of renewable energy.
  • The proposed development will make use of innovative tracker technology, making the very best use of the solar efficiency of the site, generating 20-25% more energy than traditional fixed solar arrays.
  • No protected landscape, heritage or ecological designations will be affected by the solar farm.
  • A solar plant allows agricultural land to rest for the period of operation and the land use can easily be reversed to agriculture at the end of the project life.
  • Compared to intensive arable farming, a solar farm gives land the opportunity for multiple uses. In addition to energy production, solar farms can support biodiversity by allowing small animals access to otherwise fenced-off land, with bird and insect fodder plants and wildflowers sown around the modules (visit
  • We anticipate that just 4% of the site will be affected by onsite excavations, a low impact for significant energy generation.
  • We anticipate that construction will be complete in approximately 7 months. This will typically require 8 HGV deliveries to the site each day, which will not be routed through local villages.
  • The proposed solar farm will not require Government subsidy.
  • Enso Energy is committed to using local suppliers during construction and operation where possible.
Sketch view from Marsh Baldon footpath looking towards Cowley
Sketch view from A4074 enroute towards Reading

Getting to net zero

In May 2019 the Government declared an Environmental and Climate Change Emergency. At local levels many Councils, including South Oxfordshire District Council, have made their own similar declarations and are preparing action plans to tackle Climate Change and its effects. The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The ‘Climate Change Act 2008’ target was strengthened in June 2019 to require a 100% reduction in CO2 relative to 1990 levels by 2050 (also known as net zero). This will require a step change in all sectors of the economy, including energy generation. This legislative change builds on previous commitments made by the UK as part of the European Union (such as the ‘European Union Renewable Energy Sources Directive (2009/28/EC)) and United Nations (such as the ‘Paris Agreement’).

Despite good progress in the last decade, which has seen renewable energy significantly increase and for the first-time annual fossil fuel generation being outpaced by renewables, in 2020 renewables accounted for approximately 43% of the UKs generation. Further action is required urgently if targets are to be met. 

Recent announcements and proposed changes in law to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035 (bringing forward our current target by 15 years) and ambition to fully decarbonising our power system by 2035 is expected to further reinforce the requirement for change. 

The continued deployment of solar farms and renewable energy technologies, including energy storage, more generally are recognised by the Government as a key part of the UK’s transition to achieving a low carbon economy and tackling Climate Change. To achieve net zero by 2050 it will require a rapid and expanded deployment of low-carbon electricity, including solar.

Our vision

At Enso Energy we are making the idea of a country run on renewable energy a reality. We are one of the UK’s most experienced energy developers. Our ambition is to use the latest solar technology to make a positive impact on our country and the communities we work with. We are firm advocates for renewable, low carbon, efficient, secure and sustainable energy that can be generated, stored and utilised locally. We are passionate about creating positive change for the UK’s energy requirements and carbon commitments. Our innovative and entrepreneurial approach to subsidy-free renewable energy is assisting the country’s move towards a more secure renewable energy supply and accelerating our combined progress to net zero.

Our approach to consultation during the Coronavirus crisis

We are currently living through a pandemic, the likes of which the country has not experienced in living memory. Enso Energy agree with the recent guidance issued by the UK Government’s Chief Planner, which emphasised that planning applications that positively impact the country and local communities must continue to come forward.

Enso Energy believes that it is vital that local communities are able see and shape planning applications that may have an impact on them.

We therefore held a public consultation webinar and Q&A session, a recording of which can be viewed here. If you have any feedback on our draft proposals please fill in the form below.

Register for updates

If you would like to be kept up to date with Enso Energy’s plans for South Oxfordshire Solar Farm then please contact Alpaca Communications via the form below or contact Jasmine, a member of the project team. Please view Alpaca Communications’ privacy policy here.

t: 020 7499 2842
e: [email protected]

Please provide your contact details if you wish to get a response. Any information provided will only be used for the purpose of the planning application to the Local Planning Authority and will not be disclosed with any third parties. Your contact details will not be listed on the planning application documentation.

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