Community energy: invest now

Here are some of the UK’s most promising community energy projects by capacity, return and region

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » Community energy: invest now

Published: 18 November 2015

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

  

The Treasury will end Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief for community energy projects later this month. If you want to make an ethical investment before the government’s 30 November deadline, here are some of the best renewable energy projects from around the UK.

The Clean Energy Dash – join 10:10’s race against the clock to fund unfinished community energy project

Why invest now?

In its Autumn Finance bill, the Treasury made a surprise announcement: it gave the community energy sector just one month’s notice of the end to its 30% EIS tax relief for those supporting community energy projects.

The sector responded by launching share offers for over 25 projects that are set to complete before the Treasury’s 30 November 2015 deadline.

This means there have never been so many opportunities to support ethical, clean energy projects – but which projects offer the best return on investment, and which ones are closest to you?

‘The Treasury may have made a surprise announcement, but the cooperatives that are in a position to launch have reacted fantastically. And this means there has never been a better time to invest in these ethical-energy projects, be it to support your local area, to build your retirement fund, invest for your children, or simply buy an ethical Christmas gift.’

Jan-Willem Bode, CEO of Mongoose Energy

High-capacity projects

9.3MWp

Bristol Energy Cooperative has announced a share offer to fund rooftop solar panels throughout the city plus two solar arrays on land outside the city – near Avonmouth and near the Hinkley nuclear power plant – with a combined capacity of 9.3MWp.

The community is looking to raise £2.8m, making this the UK’s most ambitious community energy project to date. The minimum target has already been reached, meaning the project will definitely go ahead.

A projected 5% return is being offered. Click here to find out more and to download the share offer documents.

5MW

Orchard Solar, Meadow Blue Community Energy and Nottinghamshire Community Energy have all announced plans to create projects with a 5MW capacity.

Meadow Blue and Nottinghamshire cooperatives are each offering 7% returns, while Harborough is offering 5%. The collectives are seeking to raise just over £2.5m; they have all raised their minimum funding, meaning the projects will go ahead.

You can download the share offer documents from the Meadow Blue Community Energy, Nottinghamshire Community Energy and Orchard Solar websites.

‘We would like to see people investing in the wide range of community renewable schemes Ethex has listed in November to show the groundswell of support for the community energy sector in the UK.’

Lisa Ashford, CEO of Ethex

Projects with high yields

Three solar and three onshore wind projects in the UK are projecting impressive returns of at least 7% pa.

Solar

Meadow Blue Community Energy (Sussex), Nottinghamshire Community Energy and Bath and West Community Energy are each offering a 7% return on investment and have planned to meet the government’s deadline to be eligible for the EIS tax relief.

Bath and West has already reached and exceeded its total fundraising target of £600k for a 250kWp solar array and a 12kWp hydro generator – but it’s raised its ask to £1.1m and added an additional project. The other projects, having met their minimum target, are guaranteed to go ahead.

You can download the share offer documents from the Bath and West Community Energy, Meadow Blue Community Energy and Nottinghamshire Community Energy websites.

Wind

Wetland Wind (Shetlands), Awel Co-op (Carmarthenshire) and Heartland Wind (Perthshire) also offer returns of 7%, with Fetland offering 11.7% on its small wind farm.

They’re seeking to create wind farms with respective capacities of 2x25kWp, 2.35MWp and 2.250kWp.

You can download share offer documents from the Awel Co-op, Fetlar Wind and Heartland Wind websites

High-yielding projects by region

South East

Meadow Blue Community Energy (Sussex) is creating a 5MWp solar array that deliver projected returns of 7%.

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.

South West

Bath and West Community Energy has announced a project to create a 20kWp solar array, a 12kWp hydro farm and, having met its original funding target, an additional solar project. It is offering projected returns of 7% pa.

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.

Midlands

Nottinghamshire Community Energy has announced a 5MWp solar array that will deliver projected returns of 7%.

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.

North of England

Killington Hydro (Cumbria) is creating a 1.8MWh hydro plant and offering projected returns of 4.7%

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.

Wales

Awel Co-op (Carmarthenshire) is creating a 2.35MW capacity wind farm and offering 7% returns. However, this may be reduced following a decision by Cardigan Council to block some turbines.

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.

Scotland

Fetlar Wind (Shetlands) is creating two 25kWp wind farms and offering projected returns of 11.7% pa.

Click here to view the project and download the share offer documents.


Click here to find out more about Mongoose Energy, the UK’s leading community energy firm.

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