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Dart Renewables Ltd has launched a £1.3m bond issue

Project will benefit local community

17-04-2015 |

  • Individuals offered chance to invest in a £1.3 million community hydro bond that will benefit a local school, social housing and fish population in the river Dart.
  • Potential gross interest of 8% fixed per year over 8 years.
  • Minimum investment of £2,000 for local investors and members of TRESOC (the Totnes Renewable Energy Society)

Working in partnership with Triodos Bank, Dart Renewables Ltd ('Dart Renewables'), a company set up to develop a hydro power scheme on the Totnes weir in Devon, has launched a £1.3 million bond issue. Investors could earn 8% interest gross per year, for up to eight years. Dart Renewables' ability to pay the interest on the bonds and to repay the bonds on the scheduled repayment dates or at all is dependent on the success of its business model, in particular the successful construction and operation of the Totnes weir scheme. The money raised will be used to finance the development of the 300 KW hydro power scheme on the river Dart. It is expected to generate 1,200,000 KWh of clean energy per year, enough to power around 280 homes.

David Mann, Director of Dart Renewables says: "This is an excellent project that will generate a significant amount of renewable energy for Totnes and the local school. It will also provide wider benefits including installation of a fish pass built to Environment Agency best practice guidelines and a canoe launching facility"

Local benefits
The Dart Renewables hydro power scheme will directly benefit the local community by making electricity available to two community organisations at a price lower than the prevailing rate.  It is expected that around two thirds of the electricity generated will be used to power a  local Totnes school  which serves around 1,700 students and Atmos Totnes, a community development involving the construction of around 60-70 social housing units and housing for older people.

Dan Hird , head of Triodos Bank Corporate Finance, comments: "The Totnes weir hydro power scheme is a fantastic example of a genuine community renewable energy project which has clear benefits to the local community and the environment. We are delighted to help investors and the local community to tap into this environmentally friendly, natural source of energy."

Salmon and trout
Migratory salmon and sea trout will also benefit from the new hydro power scheme. A modern fish pass will be installed as part of the scheme - this is expected to significantly improve the migration of salmon and sea trout at Totnes weir and allow more fish to reach historic spawning grounds in the upper Dart catchment. The juveniles spend 3-4 years in freshwater and then migrate downstream to the sea, as smolts passing over the weir at Totnes, where currently they suffer heavy losses due to predation by piscivorous birds. The new fish pass and Archimedes turbines will allow smolts to pass the weir safely and return to the sea to complete their life cycle. Over time it is expected that this will increase the population of salmon and sea trout in the River Dart.

A state of the art automatic fish counter is also being installed as part of the project. This will provide valuable data on the salmon and sea trout migration and is one of only five such counters in the South West.

Dart Renewables intends to repay its investors in six annual equal instalments with the first instalment payable on 30 April 2018 and the final instalment payable on 30 April 2023. The company is offering investors interest of 8% gross per year on the capital outstanding.

The acquisition and development of the site in Totnes has been funded to date using £450,000 of cash invested in the company by the shareholders. Dart Renewables is now seeking to raise £1.3 million through this bond issue to fund the construction of the Totnes weir scheme. It is anticipated that the site will be completed by December 2015 and will begin generating electricity in January 2016.

An investment in Dart Renewables Ltd bonds is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Dart Renewables Ltd's ability to pay the interest and repay the bonds is dependent on the success of its business model, in particular the construction of the hydro scheme at Totnes weir. Dart Renewables Ltd bonds are unquoted securities with fixed repayment dates and although the bonds are transferable, investors should be aware that they may not be able to access their capital during the life of the bond.

Notes to editors:

For more information, arranging interviews, available case studies and or additional pictures, please contact the Triodos Bank Communications team:

Faye Holst, T 0117 9809 584 or M 0755 778 5167 faye.holst@triodos.co.uk
William Ferguson, T 0117 980 9770 or M 07899 965 640 william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk

About Dart Renewables
Dart Renewables Ltd ('Dart Renewables') was established in 2009 specifically for the purpose of developing a small-scale hydro power scheme on the river Dart in Totnes. Dart Renewables was founded by three directors who have significant experience in the development and construction of hydro power schemes, with complimentary backgrounds in engineering and fisheries science and technology. In 2009 Dart Renewables acquired the Totnes weir on the river Dart and some surrounding land, with the intention to develop a hydro power scheme on the site. Since that date the directors have been consulting with relevant stakeholders, developing the plans for the site and obtaining the required planning permissions. Planning permission was received in November 2014 and they are now ready to begin construction.

About Triodos Corporate Finance
Triodos is one of the world's leading sustainable banks. Its advisory arm, Triodos Corporate Finance, works exclusively with sustainable businesses and has a long track record of advising businesses on raising capital through private placements and retail offers. Over the past four years, Triodos Corporate Finance has raised over £60 million for businesses within the sustainability sector with investments from institutions, charitable foundations, high net worth individuals and retail investors. www.triodos.co.uk

About Triodos Bank NV
Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value: customers are informed about the bank's lending and can target their savings to particular areas of investment. A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

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