Welsh energy co-op set to raise £2m through share offer
A clean energy cooperative in Wales has successfully raised £1.5m through community shares – and is now extending its share offer to £2m.
More than 1,000 people from around the UK have invested so far, co-director Dan McCallum told Pioneers Post – more than in previous share offers issued by the organisation. “It feels like the awareness around climate change is really changing things,” he said.
‘It feels like the awareness around climate change is really changing things’
Among the investors are also private companies and charities, including the York-based Friends Provident Foundation, a charitable trust.
Egni Co-op aims to achieve Wales’ largest ever rollout of rooftop solar by March 2020, installing solar panels on up to 250 buildings.
It is looking to raise £4.4m in total – and already has a loan offer from the Development Bank of Wales of £3.5m. However, raising more via shares would mean lower borrowing costs while freeing up more of the bank’s money for other projects; there are no additional charges for not drawing down the full loan facility or repaying early.
The current projected return on investment under the share offer is 4%, with a minimum investment of £50. All the sites will receive green electricity at a reduced price, lowering their running costs and carbon emissions. Profits from the completed installations will go into a fund, expected to reach £2.9m over 20 years, for education and awareness-raising about climate change, renewable energy and co-ops.
The Development Bank’s funds come from the Welsh government, which McCallum praised in a statement as being “extremely supportive” of community energy projects. It has provided the bank with a pot of money specifically for this purpose.
‘Wales is now really leading the way at a UK level in terms of public engagement in renewables’
He added: “Wales is now really leading the way at a UK level in terms of public engagement in renewables – there are some great new shared ownership wind energy projects as well taking shape which involve joint ventures between community organisations and commercial companies.”
Egni Co-op was set up by Awel Aman Tawe, a community energy charity created 20 years ago that also set up Awel Co-op, a community wind farm that has raised over £3m in community shares.
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Header photo credit: Egni Co-op