When North Yorkshire County Council gave the green light to frack Ryedale, the decision was slammed by campaigners as both undemocratic and environmentally short-sighted.
A reported 99.2% of local residents were against Third Energy’s plans to frack for shale gas near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire; the last time hydraulic fracturing took place in the UK – near Blackpool in 2011 – Cuadrilla caused two earth tremors.
It’s not as if there aren’t other options: in fact, an entirely different energy proposition was announced by the private sector just a couple of weeks after North Yorkshire County Council approved Third Energy’s planning application.
Linton Lock is a renewable energy scheme that will benefit the environment, strengthen ecosystems and support local businesses. On top of that, anyone who decides to invest can expect to see a 7.5% return each year.
Around 75% of energy from running water is converted into electricity, making hydro power more efficient than any other form of renewable electricity generation. With no direct CO2 emissions, it is also one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy.
Working in partnership with Triodos Bank, Linton Hydro has launched a £2.5 million secured bond – which will pay 7.5% gross annual interest for 10 years – to develop a hydro power scheme on the River Ouse in North Yorkshire.
The money raised will be used to develop a 280kW hydro power scheme at Linton Lock on the River Ouse, and to acquire Flowpower, a separate 100kW hydro power scheme nearby that’s already operational.
The Linton Lock scheme should be generating electricity by the first quarter of 2017. Once up and running, the two projects are expected to generate 1.87GWh of electricity in total – that’s enough to power the equivalent of 450 homes.
The two schemes combined represent the largest hydro project in Yorkshire and use the largest Archimedean screw turbine in the world.
‘This project generates a positive impact on a number of levels. It allows us to harness the power of the River Ouse to produce a significant amount of clean renewable electricity as well as building new modern fish passes and a canoe pass at Linton Lock in partnership with Canoe England.’
Director of Linton Hydro Ltd
As part of the Linton Lock scheme, a series of modern fish passes will be installed alongside the new turbine in the Ouse.
At the moment migratory fish species – including salmon, sea trout, brown trout, lamprey and eels – struggle to progress upstream to their historic spawning grounds because it’s difficult to pass the lock.
An existing dilapidated fish pass at the lock will be refurbished and three new modern fish passes installed.
The Linton Lock scheme is pre-accredited for the government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme for renewable energy and will also sell electricity to a local free-range chicken farm at a price that’s mutually beneficial. Any surplus power will be sold to the national grid. The existing 100kW project already has a power purchase agreement in place with LoC02 Energy, an independent sustainable energy provider.
‘The Linton Lock hydro power scheme is a great example of a renewable energy project which will benefit both local businesses and the environment to achieve sustainability. We are delighted to make this investment opportunity available to individual investors who want to combine a financial return with positive local and environmental impact.’
Head of Triodos Bank Corporate Finance
Anyone can invest in the Linton Lock scheme, though those living within 15 miles of Linton-on-Ouse can take advantage of a £400 minimum investment (as opposed to £2,000). The offer document can be found here, and should be read before you decide to invest. If you’d like to go ahead, you can apply for Linton Hydro bonds on Ethex’s website.
Linton Hydro will pay investors’ money back in eight equal annual instalments: the first on 30 June 2019 and the last on 30 June 2026. While capital repayments won’t start for three years, the payment of interest will start next year – on 30 June 2017.
The bond is expected to pay 7.5% gross interest per year on the capital outstanding. The payment of interest and repayment of capital will of course depend on the successful construction and operation of the new scheme and the continued successful operation of the existing scheme.
The Linton Hydro shareholders have already invested £494,000 of capital into the schemes and this will remain in the company as equity until the secured bonds are repaid in full.
Issuer: Linton Hydro Limited
Target amount: £2,500,000
Term: 10 years; repayable in eight annual equal instalments with the first instalment payable on 30 June 2019 and the final instalment payable on 30 June 2026.
Minimum investment: £2,000; a lower minimum investment of £400 applies for investors who reside within a 15 mile radius of Linton-on-Ouse.
Interest: 7.5% gross per year, fixed and payable (net of UK basic rate tax) annually in arrears on 30 June in each calendar year.
Risk warning: Payment of interest and capital is not guaranteed and is dependent on the successful construction and operation of the Linton Lock scheme and the continued successful operation of the Flowpower scheme.
Security: Secured by way of a first charge debenture over all of the group’s assets.
Unlisted: The bonds are not listed on a recognised investment exchange but they are transferable and Ethex will operate a matched bargain market for the bonds should there be buyers.
Timetable: Launched 23 May 2016; closes 8 July 2016 (the directors of Linton Hydro reserve the right to extend the deadline).
Click here to find out more about Linton Lock and how to invest in this renewable energy scheme.
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