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Triodos Bank invests in solar for UK's public and commercial buildings

12-05-2011 | Ethical banking specialist Triodos Bank has partnered with Solarcentury, the UK solar energy company, to provide a new service for commercial and public organisations wanting to generate clean electricity from solar.  Through this partnership, Triodos Bank will own solar photovoltaics installed on commercial and public buildings, with the occupants potentially paying as little as zero to benefit from free electricity during the day. Similar to low cost solar available to homeowners, the service is made possible by a guaranteed price for renewably generated electricity, under the Government's 'Feed-in tariff' scheme, paid to Triodos as the owners of the solar power.

Under the scheme, the solar electric system is managed, installed and maintained for 25 years by Solarcentury and owned by Triodos, through an investment from its EIS green fund. A 10kWp system is expected to cut electricity bills by £850 a year, a larger 500kWp around £42,500 a year*, electricity prices are rising 6% every year and the technology expected to last up to 40 years.

Triodos, established in The Netherlands in 1980, has pioneered renewable energy finance, initially as a response to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Triodos currently finances over 275 innovative climate and energy projects across Europe, with a combined generating capacity of over 1GW. 

James Vaccaro, UK Managing Director Triodos Investment Management said: "Triodos is passionate about ethical investment, so we're delighted to be working to fund solar power for UK buildings, and in particular schools.  We recognise that previous schemes could be off-putting for those interested in generating their own, clean energy, due to the upfront expense and long payback periods; we're pleased to be working with the UK's experts, Solarcentury, to deliver a solution which makes solar electricity a first-time option for many in the UK."

Derry Newman, CEO, Solarcentury said: "Solarcentury wants to make solar power accessible. In order to do this, Solarcentury is happy to partner with Triodos; we share a similar mission, wanting to work towards securing a sustainable future. Solar electricity is a very positive investment for schools, as it introduces an income for the school or Local Authority as well as cutting C02 emissions and electricity costs. Schools are also a great place for solar - they are mainly occupied in the day when the system is producing the most power. As local authorities face tighter budgets, this is an opportunity for them to make savings as well as supporting the education of tomorrow's citizens on the importance of renewable energy for a sustainable future."

The first to benefit from hosting Triodos' solar power is Hinchley Wood School in Surrey, as part of Solacentury's Solar4Schools programme which has helped over 260 UK schools go solar.   Hinchley Wood's solar system cost them £2500, as opposed to a full cost of £186,000. The 67kWp system will generate  58,000 kWh of electricity a year; saving the school £ 3,500 in electricity bills every year - expected to increase each year as grid electricity prices rise. They will save 29 tonnes of C02 emissions each year from the new system.

This is the second solar power system for Hinchley Wood school, now a "green flag" ambassador showing the way for other schools on good environmental practice. The school has achieved a 20% reduction in energy use over two years, generates an additional 20% of its electricity from solar and recycles 75% of its waste.

- ENDS-
For more information please contact:

Charlotte Webster, PR Manager, Solarcentury
Charlotte.webster@solarcentury.com
Tel: 0207 8030148
Mob: 07990 583307

William Ferguson, Communications Officer, Triodos Bank
William.ferguson@triodos.co.uk
Tel: 0117 980 9770

 


NOTES TO EDITORS

*The savings figure across the school in year one is based on:
·         Electricity generation of between 825 and 850 kWh per kWp a year
·         Units produced per kWp based on DECC and EST approved typical generation figure of 850kWh per kWp.
·        ·Value of electricity saved, 10p per kWh
·         100% of electricity generated consumed 
·         A 6% grid electricity annual price rise is assumed over 25 years, with  all FIT payments index linked as specified in DECC legislation

About Solarcentury
Solarcentury is one of Europe's fastest growing and most innovative solar photovoltaics (PV) companies. It is the UK's most experienced PV company. The private organisation was founded by Executive Chairman Jeremy Leggett in 1998. Solarcentury, now over 100 staff, continues to grow rapidly with staff levels expected to rise by another 30% in 2010/11 to meet increasing demand for products and services in the UK and throughout the EU. The company is led by CEO Derry Newman, ex Managing Director Sony UK, and based in London, with staff in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
Since 1998, we have managed the installation of well over 1000 solar PV turnkey projects. Solarcentury has helped thousands of homes go solar through its supply of systems to housebuilders and through its network of regional associate installers. It is the founding company of the schools initiative Solar4Schools. Solarcentury's turnover was £34.5m from 2009 to 2010. In 2009, the company was named in the world's top 100 most promising private clean technology companies as a 'Global Cleantech 100 company' by Guardian News and Media and Cleantech Group. www.solarcentury.com. In 2010, Solarcentury was named the UK's Fastest Growing Private Energy Company by UK's Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
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.
 
Triodos EIS Green Funds
The Triodos EIS Green Funds invest equity in sustainable UK companies with compelling growth potential. The funds aim to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities available to Triodos through their banking and industry networks to achieve high returns for Investors.
 
Triodos Bank already manages over 15 investment funds throughout Europe and has over £4 billion of assets under management, including over £1 billion of funds dedicated to renewable energy. Through our Europe-wide reputation and credibility in the sustainability sector, Triodos Bank has unmatched access to potential investment opportunities. In the UK alone, we have over 2,500 business banking customers, giving a ready source of potential deal flow.

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