Triodos Bank UK is launching a £2 million community renewable energy bond offer on its crowdfunding platform (triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk) for Empower Community Foundation. This is the second bond offer from Empower and will complete the refinancing of its two 5MW solar parks.
The bond has a term of 15 years paying 6.5% gross interest annually. The interest rate will change with inflation each year. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed.
Empower Community Foundation is a charity that owns two solar parks, one near Salisbury in England and one near Arbroath, in Scotland. Both solar parks were completed in 2016 and combined have been generating electricity from over 38,0000 solar panels to power the equivalent of approximately 2,600 homes a year.
As a charity, Empower will reinvest its surpluses into projects in the local community helping to support a fair energy transition and providing grant funding to a range of educational, social and environmental causes.
Alex Grayson, Trustee of Empower Community Foundation, commented: “We have all seen the impact of high energy prices in the last year and the vulnerability of our energy system to global geopolitical events. A strong renewable energy system can provide an alternative to this. Our structure as a charity means we can reinvest in the local communities to build resilience through this energy transition.”
The solar parks were originally brought into community ownership using bridging loans to fund the transaction. The majority of this has been refinanced using a secured long-term loan from Triodos Bank UK. The crowdfunding bond will repay the remainder of this loan for its Scottish solar park, New Mains of Guynd, and will secure funding for the remaining life of the solar parks.
There is a £50 minimum investment, and the bond is eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that allows interest to be received tax-free. ISA eligibility does not guarantee returns or protect consumers from losing their money.
Richard O’Brien, senior corporate finance manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “It’s great to have an Empower offer back on the platform. We continue to see strong interest from our investors for community energy projects, where both positive social and environmental impact is really clear to see. Community energy projects show that the profits from energy generation can be used in different ways compared with the extractive profits we have seen from elsewhere in the energy sector this year.”
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This is a high-risk equity investment opportunity in the shares of an early stage company. The company has no plans to pay dividends (or returns) in the short term and although the directors aim to procure an exit for investors after the three-year EIS qualifying period, there is no guarantee of this or of the future value of the shares.
Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact:
Ellie James, PR & Communications Manager at Triodos Bank UK
About Empower Community Foundation
Empower Community Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales. Empower exists to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society. It develops and manages community-benefit renewable energy projects and distributes surplus income generated in the projects back to communities through grant programmes.
About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable bankingglobally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany, as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 63 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.
Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV
This financial promotion has been issued by Triodos Bank UK Limited. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales with registered number 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008.