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Triodos Corporate Finance successfully raises £2.5million investment for Chelwood Community Energy Limited

01-12-2015 |

  • £2.5 million raised through an EIS share issue; a further £3.1 million of senior debt raised from Triodos Bank
  • The combined funds will finance the development of a 5MW solar scheme located on 22 acres of low grade agricultural land in Somerset
  • The site is expected to generate 4,844MWh of green electricity each year – enough to power 1,160 homes
  • Over 25 years, the solar scheme is projected to contribute over £1.2 million into local projects benefiting the village and wider area
  • The site is expected to be generating electricity from December 2015 - for more information visit www.chelwood.org

Triodos Corporate Finance has raised £2.5 million of EIS equity investment for community benefit society Chelwood Community Energy Limited. The capital will finance the development of a 5MW solar scheme located on 22 acres of low grade agricultural land next to the village of Chelwood, Somerset. The 25 year scheme, which will benefit from the Government’s Feed-In-Tariff, is expected to generate sufficient renewable energy each year to power 1,160 homes. As well as providing clean electricity and producing almost zero carbon emissions in operations, the project will provide opportunities for enhancing the site’s biodiversity.

Over its 25 year life, the project is also planned to generate up to £1.2 million of contributions to a local community benefit fund which will finance impactful infrastructure projects (such as high speed broadband for the village), local wildlife conservation measures and energy efficiency schemes in the area. An initial £50,000 contribution will be made to the community benefit fund immediately post-commissioning in December 2015.

Dan Hird, Head of Triodos Corporate Finance,

commented: "We are delighted to have advised on this community-led renewable energy project which combined index linked and tax efficient returns for investors with the creation of a very substantial community benefit fund".

Don Weston, Chair of Chelwood Community Energy Limited,

added: "There have been many changes in the forty years that I have lived in Chelwood but perhaps the most significant is a project that will create an energy self-sufficient village and will generate funds to benefit the local community."

Business model

Chelwood Community Energy Limited was formed as a community benefit society in February 2015 with the sole objective of acquiring, developing and operating the 5MW ground-mounted solar scheme for the benefit of the community. Chelwood has around 150 residents and is located in the Chew Valley, 8 miles south of Bristol and 10 miles West of Bath.

A significant proportion of the Company’s forecast income will be generated by the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff; a guaranteed 20 year inflation-inked pricing mechanism which provides a secure income stream. In addition to the Feed-in-Tariff, the Company will generate income from the export of electricity.

The site is currently under construction and is expected to be generating electricity by December 2015.

The project was supported by experienced renewables partners: Mongoose Energy Limited managed the development and commissioning process and will provide an ongoing operational, financial management and investor relations role over the project life; Solar Century will design, supply and install the scheme and provide an ongoing maintenance service post-commissioning.

Notes to editors:

For general enquiries, please contact Huw Thomas on 0117 980 9593 or investments@triodos.co.uk

Or for media enquiries please contact:
Will Ferguson William.ferguson@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9770

Chelwood Community Energy Limited is a community benefit society, registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, with registered office at 13-14 Orchard Street, Bristol, BS1 5EH (registered number RS007080) www.chelwood.org .

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 five years, Triodos Corporate Finance has raised over £70 million for charities, social enterprises and environmental organisations from institutions, charitable foundations, private high net worth individuals and retail investors. www.triodos.co.uk

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