THE UK’S largest crowdfunded solar bond to date is being launched through the platform of ethical lender and investor Triodos Bank.
Community interest company Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is aiming to raise £4m for a 36,000-panel solar farm in Somerset.
The offer is available through Triodos’ investment crowdfunding platform and will pay an inflation-linked interest rate of five per cent a year.
The bonds are eligible within Triodos’ Innovative Finance ISA tax-free wrapper.
“The status of the UK’s energy system makes headline news almost every day and we’re very proud to be working with Burnham and Weston Energy CIC to create the type of change we need to see,” said Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank.
“To tackle the big issues we face, we hope to inspire investors to support progressive and pioneering businesses like Burnham and Weston Energy CIC. It is exactly what the Triodos Crowdfunding site is set up to do.”
The investment will allow the company to return around £3m in surplus profits to the local community over the remaining 23-year lifespan of the project.
The 9.3MW community solar farm has been in operation for nearly two years.
It currently generates enough carbon-free electricity to power the equivalent of over 2,000 homes, and over £1m per year in revenue.
“The shift from a centralised fossil fuel-based energy system to one based on distributed low carbon and smart technologies creates the opportunity for communities to take back control of their energy systems,” said Jake Burnyeat, director of Burnham and Weston Energy.
“This can keep money in the local economy and turn energy production into an asset for the local community.
“We want to involve investors who share our values, and the Triodos Crowdfunding Platform is a key part of getting this project off the ground.”