BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 01 December '15

Record public investment ahead of Treasury’s end to EIS tax relief

Community energy solar projects raised a record £7.8 million in the month before the Treasury ended Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief for clean-energy investments.

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4 funds secure £1m

15 of the community benefit societies (Bencoms) that run solar projects across the UK have announced their fundraising totals, with four funds securing investments of over £1 million for their share offers.

Topping the list of bencoms were Sussex’s Meadow Blue and Bath and West, which raised £1.248 and £1.243 million, respectively. Nottinghamshire Community Energy followed closely behind with £1.171 million. Edinburgh Community Energy, with £1 million, completes the top four.

‘This exceptional rate of investment in community renewable projects shows there is wide-scale support for community energy to be a significant player in the industry in the UK. With it happening within a week of the announced plan to shut coal-fired stations, I think we will look back at this moment and realise this is the beginning of truly locally owned, low-carbon power.’

Jan Willem Bode, Mongoose Energy

Public demand

Mongoose Energy cooperatives make up five of the top six funds, with projects that attracted over £4.8 million of investment from the British public.

‘While the removal of EIS is an odd blow for George Osborne to land on the same day as the UN Climate Change Conference, it has helped to raise awareness and interest in these opportunities and these investment figures shows that people want to invest in ethical, local energy sources.’

Jan Willem Bode, Mongoose Energy

Regional projects

 

‘We are really pleased to see the huge groundswell of support for community energy schemes over recent weeks. Over a third of the total investment raised — £4.8 million – went into the six share offers listed on Ethex. Last Wednesday we saw over £1 million of investment in just 24 hours! It has involved a lot of hard work – well done to all those concerned. We hope this interest continues with the new community energy share offers we have listed on Ethex the first week of December, albeit without tax reliefs.’

Jamie Hartzell, chair of ethical investment platform Ethex

The figures

The 15 solar projects below have announced their figures.

West Sussex

Meadow Blue Community Energy

Capacity: 5MWp
Target return: 7%
Amount raised: £1,247,587

Bath

Bath and West Community Energy

Capacity: 250kWp
Target return: 7%
Amount raised: £1,243,150

Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire Community Energy

Capacity: 5MWp
Target return: 7%
Amount raised: £1,171,600

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Solar Cooperative

Capacity: 1.5MWp
Target return: 5%
Amount raised: £1,000,000

Bristol

Bristol Energy Cooperative

Capacity: 9.3MWp
Target return: 5%
Amount raised: £621,729

Kent

Orchard Solar

Capacity: 5MWp
Target return: 7%
Amount raised: £522,000

Shropshire

Nadder Community Energy

Capacity: 440KWp
Target return: 5%
Amount raised: £476,500

Exeter

Exeter Community Energy

Capacity: 300kWp
Target return: 5%
Amount raised: £390,000

Dorset

Dorset Community Energy

Capacity: 290kWp
Target return: 7.40%
Amount raised: £352,200

London

South East London

Capacity: 200kWp
Target return: 4%
Amount raised: £250,000

Leicestershire

Harborough Energy

Capacity: 5MWp
Target return: 5%
Amount raised: £183,600

Milton Keynes

Wolverton Community Energy

Capacity: TBC
Target return: 5.5%
Amount raised: £182,884

Maidenhead

Maid Energy

Capacity: 90KWp
Target return: 4.3%
Amount raised: £97,950

Shropshire

Pomona Solar

Capacity: 50kWp
Target return: 5.85%
Amount raised: £70,000

Swansea

Gower Power

Capacity: TBC
Target return: 6.50%
Amount raised: £12,400

Click here to find out more about Mongoose Energy and its community energy projects. More on Ethex can be found here.