Church Minshull Community Hydro and Triodos Bank announced today the successful issue of an 18-month 6% APR bond to fund the construction of a new run-of-river hydro project on the River Weaver in Church Minshull, Cheshire. The bond fully subscribed in 51 hours-raising the equivalent of £12,450 per hour entirely from retail investors-exemplifying the demand for small-scale renewable energy investment products.

The scheme, which will be built and commissioned by Hydrosense Renewables, is expected to generate approximately 305MWh of clean electricity each year, enough to power the equivalent of around 77 homes. The project has been specifically designed to benefit the local environment, including a fish and eel pass alongside the power-generating turbines.

The modern fish pass will open up the river to migratory fish species, improving connectivity and allowing fish to access prime spawning and juvenile habitats. A number of the fish species present within the River Weaver - such as pike, dace, roach and chub - migrate considerable distances in search of good spawning habitat. The eel pass, meanwhile, will enable eels - whose numbers have declined across the UK by around 80% since the 1970s - to migrate upstream to access good eel habitat.

The Church Minshull scheme has already gained full planning permission, pre-accreditation for Feed-in-Tariff payments, and a 40 year agreement for lease. It is expected to be fully operational by October this year, with the bond being repaid on 31th December 2018, subject to a successful refinancing. The company then plans to transfer the scheme to a local community energy group next year which will enable some of the profits from the scheme to be invested locally for the remaining 40 year life of the project.

Dave Mann, Church Minshull Community Hydro, said: "This project allows us to harness the power of the River Weaver for clean electricity at the same time as building a new modern fish pass and an eel pass at Church Minshull Weir. The fact that the Triodos bond filled so quickly confirms my conviction that investors are looking for more than just a financial return."

Dan Hird, head of Triodos Bank Corporate Finance, said: "The Church Minshull hydro power scheme is poised to benefit both the environment and the local community in the long term. This investment opportunity was snapped up quickly because investors saw that they could combine a financial return with positive local and environmental impact."

This is the fourth run-of-river hydro project that Triodos corporate finance has worked on with the Hydrosense team. It follows the successful financing and development of a 300kW scheme on the River Dart in Devon, a 100kW scheme on the River Dove in Derbyshire, and a 280kW scheme on the River Ouse in North Yorkshire.


For further information please contact:
Ed Grattan
PR and Comms Manager, Triodos Bank
T: 0117 311 0229  
M: 07817 413 792
[email protected]

About Triodos Bank 
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.

With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 36 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.

About Triodos Corporate Finance
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.
Since 2011, Triodos Corporate Finance has raised over £85 million for businesses within the sustainability sector with investments from institutions, charitable foundations, high net worth individuals and retail investors.

About Hydrosense Renewables
Hydrosense Renewables combines the generation of clean renewable energy with improved fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, and community engagement. It was founded by the directors of Fishtek, Mann Power and Castleford Engineering to develop best practice hydro power schemes in the UK.