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Investing in renewables

Seven-year bond launched to fund new solar and wind projects
Investing in renewables

Thrive Renewables has launched a new bond to help build a pipeline of projects that will support the shift to a cleaner, smarter energy system.

Now independent, Thrive Renewables was established by Triodos Bank in 1994. It already owns and operates 15 renewable energy projects up and down the UK, from a turbine at Burgar Hill, Orkney – one of the windiest onshore sites in Europe – to a wind farm in Bristol at one of the continent’s largest dockland areas.

As well as harnessing the UK’s wind power, Thrive Renewables has also established a hydro-electric project at Beochlich Burn on the south-east side of Loch Awe in Argyll, Scotland, which is recognised as one of the best areas for small-scale hydro-electric generation in the country.

IFISA

The solar bond is one of the first crowdfunded bond offers to be eligible for the innovative finance Isa (IFISA), through which UK residents over 18 years of age can earn tax-free interest on investments in peer-to-peer lending platforms. The criteria have recently been extended to allow debt-based crowdfunding campaigns – including renewable energy projects – to qualify as IFISAs.

DOUBLING CAPACITY

The projects in the Thrive Renewables portfolio have a total generating capacity of 64MW. Last year they generated enough electricity to power 41,200 UK homes – and the goal is to double that figure by 2020.

The projects have been funded by 5,700 shareholders and bondholders who have all recognised the powerful environmental and social – not to mention financial – benefits their investments can bring.The goal now is to raise £7.5m through a seven-year bond that was launched on 07 November 2016.

The money will be used to build more renewable energy projects, including two onshore wind farms in Scotland with a combined capacity of 11MW. Once built, these will be able to generate enough electricity for 8,270 homes. Both projects will qualify for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

20MW of new wind projects and 15MW of solar PV are also in the pipeline, which include both community ground-mounted solar arrays and commercial roof sites.

The minimum investment is £5 online and £250 via paper application, with scheduled interest payments of 5% gross per year. Thrive Renewables points out that capital and interest are at risk, and advises potential investors to read the offer document in full before proceeding.

Click here for everything you need to know about the bond offer.

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