SASC renews solar investment

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and Triodos have their renewed investment the UK’s largest community-owned solar farm in the UK.

The Heart of England Community Energy (HECE) project is SASC’s sixth community energy investment, and SASC has now invested a total of over £15.5m in renewable energy projects.

Heart of England Community Energy uses profits for local social projects such as Harbury e-Wheels, a Warwickshire-based community transport charity and Act On Energy, which helps local households struggling with fuel poverty.

In 2017, SASC provided bridge loans to enable HECE to acquire three solar farms in South Warwickshire. Two years on, SASC is providing £2.7 million of long-term capital and £1.5m of short-term loans to be repaid via a series of community bond offers over the next two years. Including senior loans from Triodos, HECE has been successful in securing £16.2 million of investment.

Philip Bazin, environment team manager at Triodos Bank UK said: “This transaction proves that community energy schemes can be delivered and financed at scale. It also demonstrates our expertise at financing solar projects with co-located with batteries, and at combining different tranches of finance. Such schemes have multiple positive impacts, not only do they help the clean energy transition, but their profits also benefit local people. By driving down the cost of finance, we have helped Heart of England solar to operate more profitably and increase its financial contribution to the community.”

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